Juan Cuadrado And Juventus: A Love-Hate Relationship

Juan Cuadrado And Juventus: A Love-Hate Relationship

By Daniel Lucci.

Things went from bad to worse for Juan Cuadrado in what has been a tough couple of weeks for the Colombian. He was sent off in Juventus 3-0 loss to Fiorentina, and has since tested positive for Covid-19 but will hopefully be able to return quickly after self-isolating.

Cuadrado has now been with the Bianconeri since 2015 after joining from Chelsea. He originally arrived on loan before making the move permanent in the summer of 2017.

After five years at the club, questions are still asked regarding the 32-year-old. These include: What is his best position? What does he excel at? Why does he continue to play so much?

Simply put, no one really knows what his best position is or why he’s featured so much for the club. He certainly is not skilled enough to be a regular winger, but neither is he sound enough defensively to be a starting right-back.

His main asset is his pace but aside from that he really doesn’t excel at anything further. At times he does provide critical crosses into dangerous areas, but to say his accuracy is spot on every time would be far from the truth.

Until his red card suspension and positive Covid test Cuadrado had featured in all of Juventus’ Serie A matches this season, also appearing in five of their six Champions League games. The amount of playing time Cuadrado gets has some Juventini scratching their heads, while others believe his playing time is justified.

This dependence on Cuadrado shows Pirlo is a big fan of the Colombian’s work. He referred to him as a “champion” after their 2-1 victory over Torino a few weeks ago, when it was fair to say Cuadrado was integral to a second-half comeback —  assisting both goals.

However, what Pirlo must realize is that Cuadrado’s two good contributions do not cover his earlier blunders.

He seems to make a defensive mistake in nearly every match, and these incidents must be taken into consideration, especially when Juventus have youngster Federico Chiesa on the bench or playing out of position in order to accommodate Cuadrado.

In Pirlo’s 3-4-1-2 formation that adjusts to a 4-4-2 when defending, Cuadrado and Chiesa can be deployed in a similar right-midfield position. It seems rather wasteful that the Juventus management would pay nearly €60m for Chiesa only to have him on the bench or play on his unfavourable left side.

Not to be misunderstood, Cuadrado is an asset to this Juventus team, but Pirlo must use him properly. He is not good enough to be a regular starter for a team that has aspirations of winning the Champions League or 10th straight Scudetto.

The recent emergence of Chiesa over the past few matches has made it clear he should be starting regularly going forward, and the youngster is able to offer what Cuadrado does, plus much more.

Cuadrado turns 33 in May so it is safe to say that what you see is what you get with him at this point and there is little room for improvement.

There have been rumours that Juventus may be considering offering Cuadrado another contract extension. With his current deal expiring in the summer of 2022, he will be 34 at the time his current deal ends and extending that any further would not be a smart move.

If this happens, Juventus could have another Sami Khedira situation on their hands. No disrespect to Cuadrado, who will always fight hard wearing the iconic black and white stripes, but it is evident that it is time to start phasing him out of the starting lineup, along with moving on from him once his current contract ends.

Some may be hyping Cuadrado up just a little too much after he contributes a few assists or puts in a dangerous cross, but one must not have a short-term memory for those times when he is out of position defensively, turns the ball over cheaply, or picks up a clumsy yellow card or even a red.

A few good plays should not put him in the conversation for Juve’s best player this season. Cuadrado can be appreciated for all he has contributed but must not be made into something he isn’t, and he shouldn’t be a regular starter for a top team.

As this intense and fixture-packed season carries on, the love-hate relationship with Cuadrado will continue as he will inevitably continue to get playing time. Juventus must use him properly, as a utility player off the bench, or starting a rare match for rotation purposes.

Moving forward Juventus cannot rely on an aging, defensively questionable player if they aspire to continue their winning ways.


  • comment-avatar
    Michael 3 years ago

    Think you’re the one with the love-hate relationship with Cuadrado not the club. The club is clear, he’s an important player thus his minutes reflect just that. He’s important because he’s one of the few players that can take men on 1v1 where few can or even try. He’s versatile enough to cover different areas of the pitch to good effect. He’s played a good portion of this last year and a half as a full back. Think Chiesa can cover at FB??  Again  the club knows what they have. Question is, do you?

    • comment-avatar

      That is not true, Michael. With Cuadrado out the past few matches the defence has no looked any worse and Juventus are still able to score goals without him. Danilo is having a much better season than Cuadrado and is miles better defensively. Furthermore, the likes of Chiesa, Kulusevski, Dybala are all players that are able to take on opponents, Cuadrado is not the only one. Unfortunately, he is just not sound defensively enough to be a constant starter but as I said I still think he can be an important bench player.

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      Jake Nolan 3 years ago

      This is outrighteus! One of the most versatile and skill players to play the game today, is needed, appreciated and proven an excellent assist, finesse dribbling, scoring beautiful goals, and electrifying the entire Calcio. No question Juan Cuadrado is the Right pillar of Juventus. When I see him play I enjoy the game. Nothing like ur comments, he passes like David Bekham, still have better handle skills and can play with bouth wings. His passes are just wonderful and with beautiful precision. Every forward love to get his assistance. Numbers don’t lie, as per he is one of the best in what he does. We dont need no haters in La Juve, we loved JGC.

  • comment-avatar

    This article is poorly written, all the attacks Juventus received in the last two matches enter through the right flank where cuadrado plays. It really seemed that Juve lost power, control  and also speed in that part of the pitch. 
    Cuadrado proved to be an excellent scorer in fiore and now developed defensive skills which not many players manage to have both. 
    He plays for the team not for personal glory, and injects quality in the form of playing of the Juventus. 
    It looks like you write this article with personal view and lack of true facts. 
    By the way he is the top assist at champions. 

    • comment-avatar

      I am in no way saying Cuadrado is a bad player. However, he just needs to be used properly. Meaning, higher up the pitch in a more familiar position or rotationally. Juventus’ conceded goal against Sassuolo was straight down the middle not the right. The facts are there, he is not great defensively, never did I say he was a bad player.

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    Jorge 3 years ago

    Very bad article, very far from true , all I can see is that you (Daniel ) don’t like Cuadrado , and leave poor comments without arguments 

    • comment-avatar

      How so Jorge? All I am saying is that Cuadrado needs to be played properly. It is common sense to opponents he is not a top defender which is why he has been attacked at times. If he is used properly he would look even better, that is all I am saying. I have nothing against Cuadrado and I respect what he has done for his team but you can’t expect him to be a World-Class right-back when he is not a real right-back.

  • comment-avatar
    Chubz 3 years ago

    Dear Daniel
    This is an excellent article and a lot of fans share your views. Cuadrado on field is gamble. It’s way better to get a decent RB and use our talented young wingers upfront. Cuadrado plays too much, he holds the ball too much, he is poor in counter attacks, he’s poor defensively, he fakes fouls a lot, he shocks infront of goal. All big teams have better RBs and if we want to compete, we need a better RB. Nothing personal, but truth said, Cuadrado is average. When you look at our main competitors’ in Serie A (Theo Hernandez, Ashraf Hakimi), you know that Cuadrado is average and we need to improve this position. Cheers

    • comment-avatar

      Hi Chubz,

      Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you. I think Cuadrado has his moments but like you said at times makes bad decisions, especially defensively. I feel like he would be more effective off the bench and with less defensive responsibility. Many good FBs out there, I wouldn’t be surprised if Juventus went after one this summer. (Keep in mind they might be signing 19-year-old RB Bryan Reynolds, not sure if he is ready for the big club though). Cheers.

  • comment-avatar

    Sadly I wasted 2 minutes reading an extremely biased and subjective article.

    Not worth any further commenting, I think the other respondents have made it clear why Cuadrado is such a key Juve player.

    • comment-avatar

      Hi Fernando,

      I’m sorry you feel like you wasted 2 minutes of your time.
      However, like I said, Cuadrado can be very effective in the right situations, I by no means think he is a bad player, he just may not be strong enough to be a consistent starter and I know many that would agree with that statement. The team has continued to collect wins even with him out of the lineup.
      He is no prime Gianluca Zambrotta, Cafu or etc.

  • comment-avatar
    Francesco 3 years ago

    Out of context article, biased and terribly written. There is lack of clear ideas thread, only a brainstorm of guy that seems to haven’t seen bianconeri last 5 years calcio. Cuadrado is a very consistent player far away from Dybala or Betancurt. That’s why more than three coaches gave him so much quantity of minutes on the field. Cuadrado is a versatile player that can adapt to any transition from defensive to attacking (or vice versa), and it’s clear that there are few players that understand this type of ideas in a couple of minutes. 

  • comment-avatar

    He is one of the best right wing or right back players in the world (my Idea is he is the best).

    As a Juventus Fan , I love seeing him every match.

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    As a juventus fan for many years have to echo what most of the comments in this thread have already pointed out. Cuadrado’s versatility has proven not only useful but essential to all the coaches to the club’s objectives.

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    LOL. even I am not a Juve fan and come across researching for Cuadrado, how can a player nominated “Juve player of the season” be a bad choice?…

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    Krat Oz 3 years ago

    Some attacking midfielders are called trequartista or fantasisti (Italian: three-quarter specialist, i.e. a creative playmaker between the forwards and the midfield), who are usually mobile, creative and highly skilful players, known for their deft touch, technical ability, dribbling skills, vision, ability to shoot from long range, and passing prowess. Cuadrado is that, and more, his defensive IQ, nunbers and proficiency with the the ball in bouth wings is not to be denied. Excellent player that makes everyone that is a Juventus fan, happy. Your article sucks!

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    John LeCross 3 years ago

    Bad horrible act to write lies like that Mr.

  • comment-avatar

    Why this article has to appear when I wanted to see the skills that Juan Cuadrado. This is a fault of respect for the free world. Get out of town.

  • comment-avatar

    This is not a video post is a bunch of bolloni.