Chelsea’s golden trio going in to last season were Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. However, come the end of the season and while Mata and Hazard are justifiably receiving tremendous praise, Oscar seems to have been forgotten. David Luiz and Frank Lampard were our other two headline grabbers – Oscar simply went about his business like an unworried gambler at a no deposit casino! Many have said that the young Brazilian needed a season to get used to the English game, but that concept is as ill-thought out as it is downright ignorant. Mata and Hazard are incredibly creative attackers. Oscar is an incredibly creative footballer.
One criticism that I have no concern expressing is the amount of tracking back that Hazard and Mata were willing to do this season. It wasn’t much. Exceptional when going forward, neither player looks comfortable when defending. Oscar is a different type of player altogether. While Hazard and Mata managed 63 and 70 shots respectively, Oscar had 60. However, when it comes to defensive stats, the combined efforts of Haz-ata can’t come close to Oscar’s output. 86 tackles compared to their combined total of 53. He had 32 clearances – between them, Hazard and Mata managed 8.
Oscar is far, far more than simply a very talented attacking midfielder – he is an all-round playmaker that will do his best work for Chelsea in the middle. Mourinho loves a playmaking box to box central midfielder, and in Oscar he has one of the world’s best already and if he improves Jose may think he has won the jackpot at an online casino! Michael Essien made the role his own during Jose’s first spell; it’s Oscar’s turn now. Dropping Oscar slightly deeper also frees up new signing Schurrle as an option to come in to the team. Schurrle might not be as well-known as Mata, Oscar and Hazard were when signed, but if given the chance he could terrorise this league.
Preseason is only around the corner, and we should be able to start getting a firmer grasp of Mourinho’s intentions and formation. Personally, I fully expect to see Oscar utilised in a more structured role than we saw last year. Mark my words – this time next year we will be talking about how Mourinho built the team around the young Brazilian, and it’s going to be stunning.
Do you agree? Just how important do you think Oscar is to Chelsea?