Signing Juan Cuadrado is unnecessary and symptomatic of Chelsea’s reluctance in playing youth

Filed under Editor's Picks, England, Premier League

Reports have suggested the Colombian international has agreed to join Chelsea, potentially signalling the end of Andre Schurrle’s 18 month stay at the club.

With news emerging the Blues have struck a £23.3 million deal with Fiorentina over the acquisition of star winger Juan Cuadrado it begs the question is he really needed by manager Jose Mourinho.

No one is for one second questioning Cuadrado’s qualities. The wide-man is blessed with blistering speed akin to that of a cheetah, along with sheer dynamism and exceptional dribbling ability – the 26-year-old is nothing short of world-class, but Chelsea simply do not need him.

The Blues already boast a formidable line-up with the likes of Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard just to name a few. Willian can also fall under this category, despite not having the reputation or name that precedes him as the aforementioned players. It was only a year ago when Juan Mata was offloaded to Manchester United because the Brazilian was keeping the Spaniard out of the starting 11 due to his intensity and diligent work-rate he provided, endearing him to Mourinho.

While he may not have the most prolific scoring rate as a midfielder, neither does Cuadrado (barring last season). Willian has netted three goals for the Pensioners in all competitions this campaign to Cuadrado’s six, meaning it would not be a wise investment.

Despite increasing speculation insinuating Schurrle is Wolfsburg bound, it comes as a surprise the Blues are looking to part ways with the World Cup winning German. Schurrle when given an extended run in the team is more than just a first-rate impact player – he is an imposing footballer capable of turning a game on its head.

However, irrespective of whether the 24-year-old stays or goes there is really no need to purchase Cuadrado. As stated Willian remains an integral figure for the West London outfit and there is also Mohamed Salah who has essentially been ostracised by the Portuguese tactician for whatever reason. Yes Salah is currently out of favour, though in order to prove his worth he needs a reasonable amount of game time. As he demonstrated at his former club Basel, the Egyptian is a promising footballer, which is what caught Chelsea’s attention in the first place. He just needs a chance. Striker Loic Remy could also be deployed as a winger if called upon, given he plays second and sometimes third fiddle in the lone number nine role.

If Chelsea sign the Fiorentina man (which is expected) it will have a number of negative connotations, as it is indicative of Mourinho’s hesitancy in handing opportunities to youth players.

Juan Cuadrado ©

Juan Cuadrado: Is he a necessary signing for the Blues?

Ironically, Mourinho expressed his desire to play youth players from the Chelsea academy during a press-conference in the 2014 pre-season, stating he should be held responsible if the youngsters fail under his tutelage.

“My conscience tells me that if, for example, [Lewis] Baker, [Isaiah] Brown, and [Dominic] Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself,” Mourinho said.

“At 16 or 17 I don’t think it’s good for them to go somewhere else to play, like in the Championship.

“At 17 they have to train with us and they have to learn with us. They will learn a lot.”

Those sentiments have certainly been a far cry from reality. Lewis Baker joined Sheffield Wednesday in early January, after he was starved of a single senior appearance in the first six months of 2014/15 season. Meanwhile, Brown is yet to get a sniff of first-team action, while prodigy Solanke has received just the one appearance in a Champions League match against Maribor.

The Blues certainly need to include more English players within their ranks with the side only boasting two regulars in their expensively assembled squad. Centre-back pair Gary Cahill and John Terry are the only recognised Englishmen in the team which is embarrassing for Chelsea, but also a worrying sign for the future of the English national team. And the only way those prodigious talents can improve is by earning game time.

Cuadrado’s imminent arrival would ultimately influence the likes of Solanke and Brown in a detrimental way as they would undoubtedly fall further down the pecking order in an already star-studded line-up.

Regardless of Schurrle’s uncertain future the Blues have more than enough cover in their side to fulfil their aspirations of winning the Premier League title for the first time in five years.

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About Gianluca Filosi

Gianluca Filosi The 19-year-old is an aspiring sports journalist, who has a massive passion for the World Game. He avidly follows all the big leagues across Europe. Proud Milan fan despite their recent struggles. Views my own.

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