The Colombian winger agreed a transfer to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day after a drawn out saga, with Salah heading to Italy in exchange on a loan deal until the end of the season. Fiorentina also received £27 million for Cuadrado’s sale, per the Daily Mail, and they look to have benefited most from the arrangement.
Cuadrado has made four appearances for the Blues since the transfer - including two starts - but to little effect. He almost scored a powerful header in the 1-1 draw with Burnley, but he has yet to display his true attacking talents against teams who regularly sit deep to defend. He will likely be named on the bench for the Blues as they take on Spurs in the League Cup final on Sunday, but it is hard to say whether he will take to the field.
Salah has made just one more appearance than Cuadrado for his new club, but he has been a revelation in Italy. Three league games have brought two goals and one assist, while he has a further strike to his name in the Europa League - with one in two appearances. The young Egyptian already has more goals for Fiorentina than he managed in his entire Chelsea career, and it is likely that the Italian club will be looking to make the deal permanent in the summer.
Many expect Cuadrado to come good with the Blues after a period of acclimatisation, but on current form Salah looks the better player. Fiorentina head coach Vincenzo Montella certainly agrees with this view, and he believes that he got the best deal out of the transfer business with Chelsea.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Montella said: “Salah is a player who, when he breaks, over 40-50 metres is devastating. There I gained in the exchange with Cuadrado. Fiorentina have won so much money, [while] on the field they are similar players.”
Chelsea did well to secure a player of Cuadrado’s ability for an average fee, but it is an ability he has yet to show off. If he can play a role in the League Cup final and help Chelsea secure the first piece of silverware of the season, he may just start to repay some of his price tag.