Chelsea have confirmed that young attacker Lucas Piazon has been afforded the opportunity to further his education with a loan move to Eintracht Frankfurt. The Brazilian will spend the entirety of next season with the Bundesliga club.
Another loan deal
This is a third loan spell in succession for Piazon, who has previously spent time with Malaga and Vitesse. Last term he was with the latter for the full campaign, and impressed with 11 goals and eight assists in 29 Eredivisie appearances.
Given the wealth of attacking midfield options at the disposal of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, something added to with the acquisition of Cesc Fabregas, Piazon was always expected to be sent elsewhere for another season.
A coup for Frankfurt
There was plenty of competition for the 20-year-old, of course, and this acquisition by Frankfurt represents a notable coup for the German side. And, as sporting director Bruno Hübner explained, it was a deal some time in the making.
"We are glad that we were able to reach an agreement after lengthy but very fair negotiations with Chelsea and Piazon will strengthen us in the coming season,” he said.
The new Kaka?
Piazon officially joined Chelsea in the summer transfer window of 2011, signing form Sao Paulo for a fee rising to £10 million despite having never made an appearance for the Brazilian club’s first team.
His performances in the Sao Paulo youth ranks, as well as the age group sides for his country, led to comparisons with Brazil icon Kaka - something also noted given the slight resemblance he bears to the former AC Milan playmaker.
It is a something that has stuck with Piazon since his transfer to English football but, as previously stated, he does not allow such a comparison to affect him from performing for himself and his team rather than the media.
“It's normal that they compare me with him because I played in the city of Sao Paulo and Kaka did too,” he said.
“The press say that I am the new Kaka or the new Robinho and for me that's fine."
A defining season
The year with Frankfurt could be a defining one for Piazon, and his performances will be placed under great scrutiny by Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea staff.
Chelsea have actively picked some of the best unproven talents from across the globe in more recent years given their allure and resources, but a permanent ascension to the first-team has been rare.
Kevin de Bruyne made the most of a loan spell away from Chelsea to earn himself a spot in the senior set up, but the young Belgian was soon discarded by Mourinho without a great deal of explanation.
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Oriol Romeu was signed and shipped out with little opportunity, Romelu Lukaku is as good as gone, while Thorgan Hazard remains on loan without ever having made an appearance for Chelsea.
Will Piazon suffer the same fate? His path into the Chelsea first-team is congested with numerous marquee players, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas to name but a few, and it will be a tough ask.
The decision is, of course, out of his hands, but perhaps he could take inspiration from Thibaut Courtois as he pursues an eventual full-time move to Stamford Bridge.