Fiorentina left-back Marcos Alonso has told IBTimes UK that he expects former teammate Juan Cuadrado to carve out a starring role for himself at Chelsea.
Cuadrado, 26, arrived at Stamford Bridge hours before the transfer deadline for a reported £23.3 million fee following Andre Schurrle’s departure for Wolfsburg, with fellow winger Mohamed Salah moving in the opposite direction on a season-long loan.
After his impressive World Cup showing, in which his four assists tied him for the tournament-lead with Toni Kroos, big things are expected of the Colombia international in west London, and Alonso is adamant he will live up to the fanfare.
The Spaniard, who boasts Premier League experience with Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland, believes his departed colleague is versatile enough to fill a number of roles under Jose Mourinho, and has even labelled him a mixture of Brazilian duo Oscar and Willian.
"Following the arrival of Cuadrado, Fiorentina started playing with a 3-5-2, and maybe his ideal position was playing as wing full-back but he also likes to play forward,” he said.
"This season he has played behind the striker but for me his best position is on the right wing, as we saw him during the World Cup. At Chelsea he fits perfectly in both Hazard's and Willian's position, in either of the flanks.
"He is an anarchic player. He likes to change positions during the game, moving all up-front, going to the middle... I really believe in Chelsea's right wing he can thrive. He is a mix between Oscar and Willian, because he has the talent of Oscar but the speed of Willian."
Cuadrado signed for Fiorentina from Udinese in the summer of 2013 for £17.6 million, following an initial season-long loan, racking up 26 goals in 106 total appearances during his time in Florence.
Alonso believes it might take some time for the 37-times capped wide man to adapt to English football, but adds that it shouldn’t be long before Blues fans start to see him deliver the performances which saw him become such a fan favourite during his Fiorentina stint.
“As with every footballer, he will need a little time to adapt to English football, but with his physical and technical condition he will not need too much,” he added.
"This year he missed much of the pre-season following the World Cup and he was out of action for some time due to an injury. This takes its toll during the season so it is going to be good for him having this six months to adapt. Then he can become a real sensation at Chelsea."