Up until a couple of days ago, I didn’t know too much about Juan Fernando Quintero – until his name suddenly became linked with Norwich City.
I asked my lad about him as Callum is a big FIFA player and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of World football, despite being just ten years old. Callum knew about him alright and immediately told me about his skills and dribbling ability as a CAM (centre attacking midfielder.)
A quick check of the ‘net revealed he is 22, Colombian and plays for Porto, oh and he has a ?40m buy out clause – ‘surely not’, I thought.
A buy out clause is only enforced when the selling club want to keep their player (Aston Villa with Benteke) but it seems that Porto want to sell and a fee of around ?12m could be enough to do that.
Coupled with that little bit of positivity, Quintero has not been given a squad number for the forthcoming season, so it looks like he’s moving on. The lad had two years left on his contract at Porto and Norwich are reported in Italy to have offered him a two year deal with Chievo from Serie A also keen.
So, ignoring the obvious doom talkers ‘You’ve got no chance,’ what would we actually be buying?
Juan is 22 and a full Colombian international with 13 caps for the senior side and one goal which he scored against the Ivory Coast in a group game at last summer’s World Cup.
He is 5’6′ tall and reasonably quick with phenomenal close control and dribbling skills due to his wand of a left foot. He can also score goals and takes a mean free kick too. The comparisons to our own Wes Hoolahan are obvious.
He prefers to play as a central attacking midfielder but has often been used on the wing with former managers struggling to find the right position for him – just like Hoolahan.
Quintero first really came to prominence in the World Cup U20 finals in 2013 when he showcased his skills to great effect, scoring two brilliant goals as the Colombians were unlucky to go out in the group stages and putting on a skill masterclass in the process.
This was enough to persuade Porto to splash a fee of around ?6m for his services. It was widely assumed that he would go on to become a superstar, hence the big buyout clause, but Quintero has struggled to nail down a first team starting berth and has often been used as a substitute with accusations of ‘over complicating things’ ringing in his ears.
Certainly there are plenty of You Tube clips that showcase his impressive array of close control skills and he likes a netmeg but as we know only too well, You Tube clips are notoriously difficult to judge.
However, with Tutto Mercato Web reporting that Quintero is mulling over offers from both Norwich and Chievo, it seems that there is a possibility (however small) that we could sign him. I’d still be surprised if we did as the climate in Italy is much nicer and the pace of the game is more in keeping for a skilful player.
That said, the Premier League is the massive stage with big wages and the chance to test yourself. None of us know what sort of a chap young Juan is, what if he likes a challenge?