When Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho comes out and publicly criticises his players, you know he was disappointed in them as was the case with Oscar who the Blues boss dragged off at half-time during the game against Stoke City for “not being good enough” according to Mourinho. Chelsea’s Portuguese boss criticised the 23-year-old at a post-match conference, saying: “I don’t think he had a bad performance, I just think he was not good enough, which is a huge difference.”
Comments like that would not be helpful to put to bed rumours of his exit from Chelsea. As reports have emerged of the blues being linked with the likes of Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Atletico Madrid’s Koke, as well as a possible move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
The beginning stages of Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge saw the Chelsea boss talking up the Brazilian, hinting he would be building his team around him. Oscar is the player who convinced Mourinho that Mata wasn’t needed. He brings something different to Chelsea, notably allowing Mourinho’s side to press the opposition higher up the park and intercept possession in danger areas.
The Brazilian teases us with his brilliance early in the campaign; he dangles the carrot that tempts us to layer him with superlatives. Expectation levels increase, he almost reaches a crescendo, and just as we expect him finally to deliver, and away he goes. When we talk of teams that win trophies consistently and dominate, they come complete with talented stars who turn up at the biggest moments. Oscar doesn’t.
There have been links with Paris Saint-Germain in the past and now Juventus are rumoured to be circling the carcass of his Chelsea career according to the Daily Mail. That may be sad news for some Chelsea fans who have grown fond of Oscar, but in these days of operating in profit, it’s positive for the Chelsea accountants. Like Mata and Schurrle before him, Oscar comes with a significant sell-on value that will allow Chelsea to make a tidy sum on that £20 million they paid for him to Internacional in 2012.
The Brazil international has been in torrid form of late, having not scored in 12 games, and failing to assist a single goal since January. A drought that stretches back to 17 January, and has only completed 90 minutes once in that time (he played 89mins against Manchester City), against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup when Cesc Fabregas was ruled out with injury. He has not recorded a Premier League assist since 10 January against Newcastle.