Chelsea's superb bargain buy could be a long-term gem

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of talented teenager Cristian Cuevas on a five-year contract.

The Blues have paid just £3 million for the Chilean 18-year-old which could turn out to be one of the best pieces of business this summer.

Cuevas isn’t actually a new name as far as Chelsea are concerned, as he spent time on trial with the club last season, which is what forced the club into doing a deal with O’Higgins for the player last February.

The deal being made official is superb news for Chelsea fans because Cuevas brings plenty of positives to the table ahead of the new season, despite the fact he may not get many, if any, first team appearances.

Chelsea obviously realised his potential during that trial spell, agreeing a deal there and then so they couldn’t be hijacked later in their attempts to sign the player.

The first reason he could be considered the a real long-term bargain is because of his superb versatility and ability to switch from defensive to attacking roles.

He can play at left back, not a great place to play considering Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand are ahead of him in the pecking order, but he can also play a left midfield role.

That’s significant because Chelsea don’t have out and out wingers in their current squad. He provides something different in that respect to the traditional narrower formations which are commonly associated with Chelsea.

Another reason this looks like a superb piece of business by Chelsea is the fact he’s already playing above his age group with the Chilean Under-20 side.

That suggests he has great maturity for a younger player and isn’t intimidated by playing at a higher level than he could be slotted into, important if Mourinho does want to use him at some point over the coming season.

It looks as though he could be the back up option for Bertrand as Cole heads well into his 30s, creating a natural order of progression in that area of the team.

How Chelsea and Mourinho want to use him remains to be seen but all possibilities are still on the table.

He could be used in lower profile and lower pressure competitions for the club when Cole and Bertrand need a rest or when Mourinho wants more width in his side. Alternatively, a loan deal could be a good option which would allow him to continue his development as a professional player.

How do you think Chelsea should use him? Is he a good signing?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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