Jose Mourinho: Chelsea will see best of Juan Cuadrado next season
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea must be patient with their £23.3m signing
Jose Mourinho has warned Chelsea that they won’t see the best of Juan Cuadrado until next season.
The Chelsea manager wasted no time handing the Colombia international his debut following his £23.3m deadline-day switch from Serie A outfit Fiorentina.
The best Cuadrado we will see next year. The same way the best Willian we see this year, not last year
Cuadrado enjoyed an exciting 10-minute cameo in a 2-1 win against Aston Villa on Saturday, but Mourinho is prepared to be patient with his new signing.
Asked if the 25-year-old would start against Everton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, Mourinho attempted to play down expectations.
“He is selected. I know but I don’t tell. It is normal step by step to be integrated.” Mourinho told the media at Cobham on Tuesday.
Cuadrado, who was one of the stars of last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, scored four goals and made four assists in 17 Serie A appearances before he sealed a big-money switch to the Premier League leaders.
Mourinho indicated that Cuadrado would be given time to settle at the club, adding that he doesn’t expect an immediate return on his sizeable investment.
“I prefer to wait because he needs time,” he said. “I know the differences between Italy and England. Everything was Italy for him: his formation, his experience. He needs time.
“I wasn’t expecting to play him against Aston Villa. He comes onto the pitch and he destroys Aston Villa. I was not waiting for that.
“The best Cuadrado we will see next year. The same way the best Willian we see this year, not last year.”
Asked why Cuadrado couldn’t have an instant impact like £32m summer signing Diego Costa, Mourinho added: “But long pre-season. Lots of matches. It is different.”