Hugo Cuenca insight: Background, playing style, player comparison and more

By Rohit Rajeev -

News broke out back in July 2021 claiming that Milan were close to signing Hugo Cuenca from Deportivo Capiata in Paraguay, and over 12 months later it is finally official.

Several sources are now claiming Milan have officially got the signing of Hugo Francisco Cuenca Martinez over the line after depositing his contract with Lega Serie A. The 17-year-old has already trained with the senior side, and it was revealed last month that the Rossoneri beat clubs such as Barcelona to his signature, which says a lot about how highly rated he is.

There were problems in getting clearance for the teenager for some time, even though reported a year ago that an agreement was reached with his side Deportivo Capiata (in his native Paraguay) on the basis of a €500k fee plus 10% of a future resale.

He has already played the last Viareggio Cup with the Rossoneri shirt, and the young South American talent will reinforce the Rossoneri Primavera coached by Ignazio Abate now that the deal has been made fully official. Below is a player profile…


Born in Coronel Oviedo on January 8th 2005, Cuenca was playing for the U15 team of Deportivo Capiata when he drew attention. With an unnatural height of 183cm at the age of 16, Cuenca was blessed with a lanky frame. He is predominantly left footed although he seems quite ambidextrous while dribbling.

Playing style

Cuenca is generally an attack minded midfielder who can slot in as a mezzala in a 4-3-3 or a trequartista in a 4-2-3-1.

His main speciality is his dribbling skill. For someone who is tall for his age, Cuenca is excellent at dribbling past his markers. Below you can see how despite two midfielders from Colombia pressing him he is able to dribble out of tight spaces and get past the press.

For dribbling past players quick feet is extremely important. You can see Cuenca using his quick feet to evade his marker.

A predominant part of his game is that he is blessed with a strong left foot and he is not afraid of shooting from distance, although he has not been lucky while shooting from range.

There isn’t enough evidence to go on regarding his ball distribution, but in this clip we can see how he is using his left foot to expertly find his team-mate with a cross field pass expertly by passing through defensive lines.

Cuenca is said to be leadership material as he was the captain for all of his youth division teams and was called up for the U16 Paraguay national team.

A protagonist on the pitch, he leads his team-mates well and was at the forefront for the Capiata U15 team when they got third in their division as he racked up 5 assists in 6 games.

At 16 one can say that the player is very early in his formative years of his career and has a long growth path ahead of him, but Milan have clearly seen some talent and have actually been watching him for some time.

In 2019 the president of Deportivo Capiata said: “We are working well in the youth categories. There are clubs in Europe and also Brazil that are very interested in our 14 year old boy, his name is Hugo Cuenca and he is currently trying with Milan in Italy.”

If there is a player similar to Cuenca that comes to mind, it might just be Lucas Paqueta. His role seems to match the one Paqueta had under Gattuso although it is too early to say what kind of player he could turn out to be.

What is for certain is that it will be fascinating to monitor the development of the teenager, who could very quickly rise through the ranks.

Tags AC Milan Hugo Cuenca

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