IBWM StaffComment

Juan Delgado

IBWM StaffComment

22     Midfielder     Colo Colo     Chile



Strong, left footed stepover king that emerged from Colo Colo’s youth team to become a virtual ever present in their Apertura winning side in the second half of 2014. In addition to becoming a title winner, Delgado was called up for international duty by Jorge Sampaoli and scored the winning goal for his country in a 1-0 friendly victory over Haiti in September 2014.

A regular starter on the left for Colo, Delgado would often be drafted into centre forward duty, more as a false nine than any kind of out and out target man, and scored five times during his team’s title push.  Equally happy on the right, Delgado’s inclusion in the IBWM100 at the tail end of 2014 was a no brainer.  A strong and skillful young winger able to make play as well as get on the end of things, here stood the brightest little star emerging into an already impressive national side.  What could possibly go wrong?


2015 has been...

Ropey.  We fully expected Delgado to be making something of a splash in Europe by now, even if we prefer to see young footballers stick around as long as possible at the club in which they’ve broken through.  Why hasn’t it happened? Quite simply, Delgado has been poor for pretty much the entirety of the year.  His last selection at international level was in January and there’s been no case for further caps since.  Nondescript Clausura and Libertadores campaigns have been and gone for Colo Colo in which their boy wonder really didn’t deliver.  A change in management at El Cacique has seen José Luis Sierra arrive and the former Unión Española coach has clearly been less enamoured with Delgado than his predecessor Hector Tapia. 

2015 really has been a downward spiral for Delgado.  A year that started off with the occasional hook late on in games morphed into positional changes and then just not making the first team at all.  None of this is unjustified either.  Delgado’s listless form had dipped so badly that Colo Colo identified Huachipato’s Martín Rodríguez as the better option in the season break and have continued to make use of the young winger with Delgado retaining a place on the substitutes’ bench.


What’s next?

When we looked at Delgado last year his career trajectory couldn’t have been more perfectly aligned.  He’s a smart player and while very reliant on his left foot, it’s a good’un and he’s capable of playing anywhere across the pitch.  If we are going to identify where things have gone wrong we’d suggest it’s Delgado’s lack of pace.  He’s certainly no slouch, and is skilful enough to receive and negotiate an opponent quickly, but lacks the explosive burst of pace and power that modern wide players require. 

As it goes this might actually turn out to be a good thing.  Delgado is strong, technically adept and adaptable enough to play elsewhere in midfield so this could be the longer term calling.  There’s enough in the locker to suggest Delgado will come again, but it’s been a tough twelve months.


D     A couple of impact sub appearances would do wonders right now


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