Arsenal prepare January swoop for flying Fiorentina winger
The injury jinx that has struck Arsenal’s wingers this season has led coach Arsene Wenger to consider his options on the flanks, with the January transfer window fast approaching.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott have made just seven top-flight appearances between them so far in 2013/14 and all but the latter are still weeks away at the earliest from full fitness.
The Premier League-leaders are third-favourites at 7/2 to win the title this term, but their lack of width was exposed against champions Manchester United, with full-back Bacary Sagna consistently attempting to make up for this shortcoming by surging furthest forward.
Fresh attacking impetus is required at the Emirates and Fiorentina’s Colombian international winger Juan Cuadrado is the latest name to be linked with the north Londoners.
Wenger has sent scouts to run the rule over the 25-year-old, who is also interesting Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Cuadrado can play in a number of positions, including left-back and in the heart of midfield, but the pacy South American’s best role is considered to be on the wide-left side of a front three.
The former Independiente Medellin youth broke into the Colombian national side in 2010 and has featured 23 times for his country since.
He appeared in 11 of Colombia’s 16 games in their successful 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign and will be a prominent member of Jose Pekerman’s squad in Brazil.
Cuadrado has starred in Fiorentina’s solid start to the current campaign, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win at Chievo recently and laying-on assists for his teammates in home games against Catania and Juventus.
The prolific dribbler also netted once and setup two more goals in the Viola’s 3-0 Europa League win at home to Romanian outfit Pandurii.
Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle recently insisted that Cuadrado was enjoying his football in Florence and stated that he will be welcome at Stadio Artemio Franchi for a long time to come.
However, Della Valle is aware that Cuadrado’s head will be turned by interest from some of the continent’s biggest clubs and a raft of January bids look on the cards.