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Arsenal must play new target at left wing and not right back

| 13.11.2013

If Udinese have shown anything in recent seasons, it is an ability to sign players for small amounts, give them games to aid their development and then sell them at premium prices.

Simone Pepe and Gokhan Inler are two examples, but it is the South American market that Udinese have played especially well, with the sales of Alexis Sanchez to Barcelona and Cristian Zapata to AC Milan proving particularly profitable.

Although Juan Cuadrado is currently co-owned by Fiorentina, the Colombian could be the latest money spinner for Udinese, especially with Arsenal reportedly ready to offer as much as €30m for his services.

If Arsenal do outlay this sum of money, it is hard to see Cuadrado being a bit-part player at the Emirates, so then the next question has to be where will he play?

Right-back is one option, especially with Bacary Sagna out of contract at the end of the season.

However, although a far quicker version, it could be like having Andre Santos back at the Emirates again, as Cuadrado would be a full-back focused on attacking raids that could prove a liability to the backline.

Right midfield is where he has been most effective for Fiorentina and and he could be even more of a handful in the Premier League, where defenders tend to play tighter to attackers, rather than backing off.

Cuadrado must be regarded as one of the top dribblers in world football and he has a turn of pace that must give Theo Walcott and Per Mertesacker a real challenge in the ranks of being the fastest runner at the club.

However, it is down the left side where Cuadrado may prove most at home, as he has the step-overs and direct dribbling nature to be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, although he certainly is light years away from the Real Madrid man when it comes to shooting.

Arsenal may want to sign the Colombian in January before he becomes more recognised at the World Cup, but the speculation is that Fiorentina are reluctant to sell at the price, which is an indication of the player’s ability given that they are not normally shy of selling their top stars for big money.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.