Chelsea’s new boss Antonio Conte, who was appointed by the club as a permanent replacement for José Mourinho after the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was sacked in December last year, has said that he wants to keep hold of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado.
The 28-year-old was signed by Chelsea from Fiorentina in February of 2015 and made thirteen appearances for the Blues but failed to score in any of them after his £23.3 million move to Stamford Bridge. He was signed on the back of an impressive performance in Serie A during the previous campaign and some excellent performances in the 2014 World Cup, but didn’t settle in England.
The Colombian was loaned out to Juventus last season and played under Chelsea’s new manager during a campaign in which The Old Lady won a league and cup double. Conte confirmed he’ll be happy to see him return to Stamford Bridge, saying, “I wanted him when I was Juventus coach. He will come back very soon and train and play with us”.
Cuadrado scored four goals in twenty-eight appearances for Juve after joining The Zebras when Pedro arrived in West London from Barcelona, making him surplus to requirements. He left just five days after the arrival of the Spaniard and was a crucial part of Conte’s success with Juventus last term. During this summer’s Copa America Cuadrado helped his home nation Colombia finish in third place.
Conte made clear that, for the time being at least, Cuadrado is not going anywhere. He said, “Now, he’s a Chelsea player and he’ll stay with us. If something changes you’ll know”. The Colombian will be like a new signing for the Blues, given that he already knows and understands Conte’s methods. He will join up with new boys N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi as part of the Italian manager’s new look Chelsea side.