Chelsea’s Brazilian trickster Oscar must help the Blues turn their rocky season around or face being sold at the end of the season.
The 24-year-old, who was signed by Roberto Di Matteo in 2012, hit the ground running but has struggled to take his game to the next level under Jose Mourinho.
And though he is one of the best attacking talents at the club, Juventus are known to be interested and could make a bid should they receive any encouragement that he could be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Oscar arrived in the same summer as Eden Hazard and, along with Juan Mata, the three starlets helped guide the Blues to the Premier League summit mere months after the Londoners had upset the odds to win the Champions League.
However, the departure of Di Matteo and appointment of Rafael Benitez saw Chelsea fail to win the title with Oscar’s attacking influence waning under the strict tactical regime of the now Real Madrid manager.
It has been a similar story under Mourinho, whose decision to prioritise defensive football is against the desires of his players who are predominantly oiled to attack rather than fulfil their duties at the back.
With the 24-year-old now in the midst of his fourth season at the club, he needs to adapt to the needs of the team if he is to remain a critical piece in the Chelsea jigsaw. Given the Blues’ current predicament they cannot afford passengers on their long, rocky journey up the league table.
Point to prove
However impressive his performances can be, that it has taken Oscar four years to truly make his mark speaks volumes about the Brazilian’s difficulty in adjusting to the aggressive and vigorous nature of the English game.
Unlike Hazard he has failed to establish himself as one of the main men in the squad, scoring just twice in nine appearances as his side have slumped dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Mourinho may be in a precarious position but is fortunate that he has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal, even if summer signings Radamel Falcao and Pedro have left much to be desired.
With his time in the capital growing increasingly problematic, Oscar could follow Juan Cuadrado in trading Stamford Bridge for the Juventus stadium.
Juventus are struggling to replicate the same form that has yielded four consecutive league titles, with the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala failing to replace departed maverick Carlos Tevez.