Aston Villa's Carlos Sanchez backs Juan Cuadrado for Chelsea success

Carlos Sanchez believes Colombia teammate Juan Cuadrado will have few problems adapting to the Premier League.

Aston Villa midfielder Carlos Sanchez has told the Independent of his eagerness to take on compatriot Juan Cuadrado when Chelsea visit for this afternoon’s Premier League clash.

Sanchez and Cuadrado have been teammates on the Colombia national team since 2010, with the pair proving two of the side’s star performers during their run to the World Cup quarter-finals in the summer.

“My job was to provide the balance,” Sanchez said. “To win the ball back and try to link up with the more offensive players – James [Rodriguez], Cuadrado – so they could go and do the things they are capable of like opening up defences and getting goals.”

Earning a £4.7 million move to Villa from La Liga club Elche in August on the back of his impressive showing in Brazil, as reported by the Daily Mail, Sanchez has since gotten over a slow start to life in the West Midlands to establish himself as one of the team’s standout performers in recent months.

A poor outing in the 5-0 thumping at Arsenal last weekend showed he still hasn’t quite mastered the Premier League, however, and things won’t get much easier against Chelsea either.

The league leaders have further strengthened their ranks this week with the £23.3 million arrival of Cuadrado from Fiorentina, per the BBC, and Sanchez believes the talented winger will prove a huge hit in England.

“He can make a major impact, for sure,” he said. “He has a lot of quality, he is very fast, he can play down both wings and he works hard. I have no doubt he can adapt here.”

With Villa on a run of eight league games without a win and a club-record six without a goal, the chances of them breaking their slump against Jose Mourinho’s side look slim, but Sanchez is remaining optimistic.

“I am a very optimistic person,” he added. “I don’t know if it is because I’ve come up right from the bottom but I am someone who always thinks you can make things better.

“Every one of my team-mates and every one working in the club wants to make things better. I’d like ask the public, the people who come to the games, to trust that we are working hard to improve. They shouldn’t doubt things will get better if we all stay together.”

Sitting just three points above the relegation zone in 16th-place, fans will hope Sanchez's words hold true.

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