Juan Cuadrado has played just 97 minutes so far this season – and Inter Milan could sign a player in the January transfer window.
This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.
Inter brought in Cuadrado in a surprise free transfer deal during the summer.
There were other transfer soap operas that overshadowed the Colombian’s arrival. But that didn’t change that it was a bit of a shock to see Cuadrado wearing the Inter shirt.
The veteran wingback had spent eight years wearing the Juventus shirt. He had been at the centre of some flashpoints in the rivalry with Inter during that nearly a decade with the Biacnoneri.
Prior to Juventus, Cuadrado had starred for the likes of Udinese, Fiorentina, and Chelsea.
And at 35, Cuadrado was out of the project at Juventus, who did no extend his contract.
But Inter evidently saw an opportunity in the Colombian.
The Nerazzurri’s focus on free transfers as a key part of their market strategy is no secret.
And the Gazzetta note that Inter coach Simone Inzaghi was a big proponent of the idea of bringing Cuadrado in.
Even well into his thirties, the wingback’s qualities are hardly in question. And the Inter coach felt that adding Cuadrado to the squad would be a valuable reinforcement.
Juan Cuadrado With Barely Ninety Minutes Of Football For Inter In Three Months
That is not how it’s turned out this season. At least not to date.
And the culprit has not been any lack of quality.
In the occasions that he has been on the pitch, Cuadrado has shown why Inter signed him – the 35-year-old’s technical ability, right-footed deliveries, and reading of the game.
But the issue with Cuadrado has been injuries.
There has not exactly been a major injury for the Colombian. But he has dealt with a persistent problem of inflammation to his Achilles tendon.
This has meant that Cuadrado has made just a grand total of four appearances for Inter so far.
All of these have been from the bench.
And the recovery timeline has always been very hazy. Week after week, Cuadrado has been unable to return to training at a full pace.
According to the Gazzetta, Inter and Inzaghi continue to back Cuadrado to make an impact.
At some point, the club hope, the 35-year-old will be fit. Then his undoubted class can show through.
Cuadrado could be an extra factor later on during the season.
But in the meantime, the 35-year-old’s persistent unavailability has gone from a minor issue to a real worry for Inter.
Benjamin Pavard’s absence for several weeks with a knee injury compounds this. It is starting to look like an outright injury crisis on the right side of the pitch for Inter.
Therefore, the Gazzetta report, the Nerazzurri are strongly considering dipping into the market in January.