Juan Cuadrado’s transfer deadline day arrival at Stamford Bridge is a statement of intent from Jose Mourinho as the Chelsea manager looks to wrestle back the Premier League crown from Manchester City.
The Special One delivered instant success in his first stint in charge at the Bridge as the Blues finished a full 12 points ahead of Arsenal to become champions for the first time in 50 years.
Similar silverware was anticipated when the Portuguese swept back through the doors of the west London giants in the summer of 2013 and Chelsea were indeed seven points clear by the middle of March.
However, defeats to struggling Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Sunderland and goalless stalemate at home to Norwich saw them win only five of their final nine league fixtures to throw away the title and finish in third behind City and Liverpool.
Mourinho had publicly maintained that his first year back in charge was never going to yield trophies but heading into the season’s climax with a healthy lead and dropping so many points in the final few games will have hurt the Blues boss.
It hurt John Terry.
The Chelsea captain turned into his own net at Selhurst Park as Palace sprung an upset and Terry admitted he was reduced to tears by his side’s failure to claim the trophy in that final few weeks of the long campaign.
"I was in tears over the Premier League last year - over throwing that away and not winning that - behind closed doors,” Terry reflected.
"This season I hope we’re good enough to win it again. That’s the target, the mentality of where we are as a club.
"With Jose Mourinho back in now, that’s our target and that’s the standard.’’
They certainly set high standards at the beginning of the new season, going 23 matches without defeat before falling at Newcastle in early December when Papiss Cisse came off the bench to bang in a brace.
The Blues are still five points clear of Manuel Pellegrini’s City at the top but they failed to beat their nearest rivals on home soil at the weekend as David Silva cancelled out Loic Remy’s opener in SW6.
And they will look back on the month of January with a tinge of disappointment after managing to win just half of their eight games and suffering the humiliation of an FA Cup fourth round exit to Bradford City.
Cuadrado’s arrival for a fee of £26.8million, coupled with the departures of Germany international Andre Schurrle and Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah, is one way of Mourinho dealing with that blip.
The tricky Colombian was given the nickname ‘Vespa’ by his old Fiorentina pal Luca Toni for his ability to weave in and out of traffic on the football pitch at great speed is sure to get the supporters excited.
Schurrle has endured a disappointing second season with the Blues after his World Cup triumph in Brazil in the summer, while Salah never even impressed in his first following his move from Basel a year ago.
Both are gone and neither will be greatly missed. Neither were key players and, in the case of Schurrle, Mourinho has made a profit on the man he made his first signing after rejoining the club having paid £18million to lure him from Bayer Leverkusen.
Only time will tell if Cuadrado can make the impact that the two outgoing players failed to make but the winger’s performances on the international stage are evidence of his ability to shine at the very highest level.
A combination of blistering pace, rapid acceleration, technique and skill make Cuadrado ideal for Premier League football and the man they call Vespa will have the chance to rev his engine for the first time in the blue shirt at Aston Villa this weekend.
Cuadrado has joined Chelsea on a four-and-a-half-year contract and will wear the number 23 shirt.