Thursday December 5 2019
Juan the man for Juve

Reborn as a right-back for Juventus this season, Emmet Gates justifies Juan Cuadrado’s case for a new contract.

Cast your mind back to the absorbing battle between Atalanta and Juventus a couple of weeks ago at the Gewiss Arena. It was the 82nd minute and the game was delicately poised at 1-1, despite the home side being by far the more impressive of the two throughout. La Dea just couldn’t find a second goal.

And then, just like that, it was 2-1 to the champions. Douglas Costa passed the ball to Paulo Dybala on the left-hand side of the Atalanta half, just on the periphery of the penalty box, where the No 10 often produces his most devastating work.

Dybala then jetted into the box for what looked like a shot before slipping a reverse ball out wide to the rampaging Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian then took a touch, shaped his body as if to slide it across the face of the six-yard box, but instead slid it back towards the penalty spot for the onrushing Gonzalo Higuain, who fired it past Pierluigi Gollini. Clinical. Ruthless. Simple. Beautiful.

What was fascinating about the move was Cuadrado’s involvement and generally how at ease he looks at being reinvented as a right-back. Many felt that last summer was the end of him in Turin. He’d been at the club for four years and tended to fluctuate between moments of brilliance and exasperating frustration - at times within the confines of 10 minutes during a game.

However, since Maurizio Sarri made the decision to push him further back due to injuries to Danilo and Mattia De Sciglio, Cuadrado has been a steady performer in his new position. He’s been so assured in the role at times you’d think he played there his entire career, buccaneering up and down the right flank, and has offering Juve a real alternative to widen the play when things become congested in the central area of the pitch.

The case could be made that Juve’s best performers this season are the trio involved in the second goal in Bergamo: Dybala, Higuain and Cuadrado. And it’s all the more ironic that they were the three many thought would most likely leave the club before the beginning of the campaign. Higuain had already been sent on a mini-tour of the two finest cities Europe has to offer last season and wasn’t expected to play for the Old Lady again, whilst Dybala was offered to just about any club willing to pay in the region of €75m for his services. Cuadrado’s time too had run its course, most believed.

Danilo, who arrived in the deal for Joao Cancelo to Manchester City last summer, has exceeded expectations when available and is bringing solid performances to the table. However, the Brazilian lacks the elasticity of his fellow South American. Indeed, Cuadrado can easily skip past opponents in tight situations or when confronted with a one-on-one, as evidenced by his superb goal against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

This last facet is a component Juve haven’t had in their make-up in years, with the exception of Dani Alves’ one-season stop in Turin three years ago. The Bianconeri have a history of signing industrious, hard-working full-backs, but never particularly skillful ones. Cuadrado is going against the grain.

His conversion is what ultimately could extend his time at the club. With Sarri seemingly preferring a 4-3-1-2 system, there’s little space for Cuadrado as a right winger. Yet at right-back, the 31-year-old is guaranteed to get more game time.

Just two weeks ago he signed a new contract, taking him through to 2022. And on this form, he’s earned it.

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Have your say...
Just after this article was released, one stupid backpass which led to caputo’s goal and stupid red card foul in lazio game. Cost juve 5 points there.

Indeed, Juan is the man alright, hold on tight to him.
on the 7th December, 2019 at 11:30pm
Lool he got lost vs lazio
on the 7th December, 2019 at 11:10pm
Max Allegri’s team looked amazing at the start of the season last year. Impressive games against United ( home and away ) were all down to Juan! It was as if once injured Juve lacked balance and flair .. Dybala looked great last year in the early games but this was down to service from JC.
I agree he’s been instrumental once again .. when he plays and plays well, Juve look a better side.
In recent games it’s been Bentancur who has impressed me with his drive and ability to take people on ..
on the 7th December, 2019 at 1:57pm
I didn't read the article, just the title...
But I agree:
Juve should buy Juan Jesus from Roma!

:) :) :) :) :)
on the 6th December, 2019 at 1:51pm
If Sarri wants to win Champion League then clearly Cuadrado, Cost & Dybala should be in the starting lineup in every game.

The overrated Ronaldo + Ramsey should be dropped on Bench
on the 6th December, 2019 at 8:25am
@Pintu "we all know you're a juvenile mentally disturbed troglodyte..." Oh there you're describing yourself perfectly. Sorry kiddo I don't have time for an idiot like you, someone who firmly believe that a football club can win trophies without a coach.
on the 6th December, 2019 at 4:32am
For Juve it is: Ref's first, team second. Why was it they never win champions league? Oh yeah, you guessed it.
on the 6th December, 2019 at 2:31am
Im grateful for Cuadrado at Right back ! Could you imagine having a player like the Divine Jonathan or Mesbah at Right back ? that would really suck !
on the 5th December, 2019 at 7:20pm
The bloggers on this site would be of more help if they write about an unsung hero for a whole season not about a player who has been there for yonks, has a few decent games and then hailed. How many games has Cuadrado played this season and in all of that how many key passes has he made compared to how many times he has wasted a pass? He has pace, has some skill but there is nothing that irks me more than a player that cannot pass the ball, its really galling. Premature article.
on the 5th December, 2019 at 5:31pm
I would agree that Cuadrado has been one of Juve's better players this term. That says a lot though about the rest of the team. He was asked to switch to defending and sure its not his natural position but him along with Costa are 1 of the few that will attack the goal with pace and try to create chances. Often u need a bit of craziness to break down defenses. Cuadrado, Dybala, Higuain and Costa. So far these have been the game changers going forward. The rest of the offense is questionable.
on the 5th December, 2019 at 4:15pm
@Giancarlo Whatever

And there you are, a worthless jackass, waste of human space... At least try to make some relevant points regarding the article at hand before making asinine as hominem attacks ??

I mean, we all know you're a juvenile mentally disturbed troglodyte, but at least try to camouflage your insufferable inadequacies with a bit of a relevant comment...??
on the 5th December, 2019 at 1:01pm
Makes you think how good Cancelo would have been under Sarri and is 5 or 6 years younger than Cuadrado and a natural full back. Instead he's rotting on the bench at City
on the 5th December, 2019 at 12:19pm
@Pintu...whatever, I can see you still rely on your amateurish football analysis to establish your status as a clown aka clueless fanboy in this site. Congratulations!
on the 5th December, 2019 at 10:58am
He is infuriatingly inconsistent; Goes down easily under a seemingly harmless tackle; and oh…I don’t like his goal celebrations !!!
on the 5th December, 2019 at 10:04am

He doesn't read the game the way a solid defender should, which is to never put your defence and GK under pressure with idiotic back-passes or last minute tackles which expose the defence.

His lack of skills going forward are mind-boggling, which he camouflages with exceptionally large number of crosses, more quantity than quality.

Cuadrado should've been shipped out to a mid-table EPL side long ago, but when players like Khedira are your starters in 2019, he stayed. Hallelujah!
on the 5th December, 2019 at 7:31am
Poor article.

Lavishing praise on him for his performances this season, when Cuadrado has been nothing but utterly pathetic in his displays in the past and, indeed, this season.

His record of "1 goal every 10-15 matches" is unworthy of Juventus, especially given he was supposed to be an attacking winger.

He's always been a liability going forward and especially whilst defending, and the goals Juve have conceded this season due to his lackadaisical displays are beyond frustrating.

on the 5th December, 2019 at 7:25am
Cuadrado And Douglas costa I think are the same wine in different bottle. If Sarri were to keep prestige at Juve he needs be a lot braver than he showcasing at the moment.....
on the 5th December, 2019 at 6:43am
Sure juan can run back and forth, but they guy will break somebody legs for his inability to defend right. Accomplished winger for sure, a defender he will kill somebody career for sure.
on the 5th December, 2019 at 5:22am

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