West Ham have reportedly agreed a £24.3 million deal for the Columbian defensive-midfielder. But who exactly is Gustavo Cuellar?
The Columbian started his career at Deportivo Cali were he made 118 appearances. His last year at Cali saw him loaned away to Categoria Primera A league club Junior. Cuellar went on to make 49 appearances during that season.
In 2016 brazillian club Flamengo bought him for £7 million. In his first season he struggled to establish himself in the team. It took until 2017 when Reinaldo Rueda was appointed as manager for Cuellar to make the defensive midfield position his own.
After two years of performing well for the “Big Mengo” he was rewarded with a new contract. This saw his release clause rise from £43.4 million to £60.7 million.
Cuellar is known as the “Pitbull”, this is because he is firm in the tackle and likes to get stuck into the challenge. The 26-year-old has forged his career from being a tough tackler, however he does not offer a lot going forward. The midfielder has only scored two goals and assisted three since he joined Flamengo. One of these goals was an absolute stunner against Santos, which would be worth keeping in mind.
What he does lack in offensive ability he can more than make up for it in his defensive ability. Much like Declan Rice he is brilliant at winning possession and breaking up the opposition play.
One party trick he does have up is sleeve is his range of passing. Cuellar is able to play the easy pass and calm down play. He is also confident in spreading the ball and playing a dynamic cross field diagonal pass.
West Ham United have been rumoured to have agreed a £24.3 million deal. This would be a huge investment from the Hammers, in fact it would make Cuellar their second most expensive player of all time behind Felipe Anderson. The deal however, has been alleged to me made up of three separate payments of just over £8 million. If the deal was to be formed like this it would definitely reduce some of the risk factor in his investment.
West ham have been linked too many midfielders in order to partner Declan Rice in the midfield. One other name is Dani Cellabos who is currently at Real Madrid, whereas other names are Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Diame, Issac Hayden (Newcastle), Arron Mooy (Huddersfield), Gary Medel (Besiktas) and Joe Allen (Stoke City). There is however, still a long way for this deal to be completed.
Could Cuellar be the man to partner Declan Rice in the heart of West Ham’s midfield?