Wingback Juan Cuadrado is now back to 100% fitness – and he could give Inter Milan a totally different dimension after the break.
This is the view in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.
So far this season, fitness problems have largely restricted the contribution that Cuadrado has made to Inter
The Colombian did come off the bench in each of the Nerazzurri’s first three matches of the season. He showed positive early signs, including bagging his first assist in an Inter shirt.
But then Cuadrado was largely a non-factor in the matches between the September and October international breaks.
The reason for this was a fitness problem – identified as tendinitis – that the 35-year-old had picked up whilst on international duty last month.
Therefore, Inter have largely been waiting patiently for Cuadrado to return to his best.
The former Juventus, Chelsea, and Fiorentina veteran stayed behind during the current international break. His club and international sides agreed to allow him to work in training to regain fitness during the break.
What Juan Cuadrado Can Bring To Inter After Break
Cuadrado did make an appearance off the bench in Inter’s final match before the current break.
The Colombian played in the second half of the Nerazzurri’s disappointing draw against Bologna at the San Siro.
Cuadrado was unable to bring about the goal that Inter desperately sought during his time on the pitch. However, there were still a few flashes of what he can bring to the team, particularly with his pinpoint crossing.
Denzel Dumfries has largely been the first-choice starter so far this season.
But Cuadrado can give Inter a very different profile than the Dutchman on their right flank.
Whilst the Colombian may no longer have the explosiveness or stamina of the considerably younger Dutchman, there are other qualities that he can give the team.
Cuadrado’s first touch and dribbling in tight spaces and one-on-one situation are certainly more effective than his counterpart’s.
And the 35-year-old’s deliveries into the box are a very potent weapon. The ex-Bianconeri man is somewhat more of a provider of goals for teammates, as opposed to Dumfries who likes to time his goalscoring runs into the box.
The way that Simone Inzaghi used Cuadrado against Bologna could be a hint as to the coach’s intentions for the Colombian.
It was Dumfries and Federico Dimarco who started the match.
And when the more athletic Carlos Augusto replaced Dimarco on the left, Inzaghi introduced the more technical Cuadrado on the right.
For the Gazzetta, this could be a new dimension to Inter’s play that will emerge after the break.
Cuadrado has yet to start for Inter. But it now looks as though he could finally do so.
And even despite the wingback’s age, his contribution could be a telling one.