Chelsea’s Juan Cuadrado highlights difference between English and Italian football

Juan Cuadrado has commented on making his full debut for Chelsea.

The Colombian winger signed for the Blues on transfer deadline day, and made his debut as a five-minute substitute in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa last weekend.

He had little time on the pitch in which to impress in that cameo appearance, but followed that up with 70 minutes in the dramatic win over Everton at Stamford Bridge. Starting the game on the right wing, 26-year-old Cuadrado was introduced to the tough tackling English game, and found his influence limited due to some admirable defending by the Toffees.

Usually used in a counter-attacking role in open games, Cuadrado failed to properly impress, and although he created a few chances - he played three key passes - he struggled with his dribbling and usually found himself ending up confronted by too many players, and ended up only completing one dribble during his time on the pitch.

It was not the full debut expected of Cuadrado, but he can be forgiven for starting slowly after transferring from Italy to a new style of football in the Premier League. Despite all the wishful advances that the English game has become more tactical and intellectual, there is still a desire to see brute force and physicality take over, and Cuadrado has told the official Chelsea website that the speed of the game was the big difference he saw between Italy and England.

Speaking after the important victory over Everton, the Colombian international said: “The difference is that the Italian game is a little more tactical, whereas here it’s a bit quicker and more end to end.

“The transition from defence to attack is much faster than in Italy.”

Considering Cuadrado is praised for his speed and athleticism, it sounds as if he is much more suited to English football than that played in Serie A. If he can transfer his good form from Italy to the Premier League, there is no doubt that he will soon become a star at Stamford Bridge.

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