Chelsea midfielder Lucas Piazon has conceded that he may need to leave Chelsea in order to play regular first-team football, with competition for places currently fiercer than ever before at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking exclusively to Goal.com, the 20-year-old Brazilian said that he hopes to do enough with his current loan club, Eintracht Frankfurt, to impress Chelsea or any other club willing to offer him regular playing time.
Piazon has started three of Eintracht’s Bundesliga matches this term, but is concerned that his career could stall after starting on the bench for the German club’s other four fixtures against Schalke, Mainz, Hamburg and Cologne.
"At the moment I'm sitting on the bench [with Eintracht], so it's difficult to make an impression," he told Goal. "I'll keep on working to play for Chelsea or some other club in the future."
Piazon dropped to bench by Eintracht
Piazon showcased his immense potential last month by smashing home a stunning 30-yard free-kick in stoppage time to earn Eintracht a dramatic 2-1 win over Hamburg at the Imtech Arena, but that wasn’t enough to earn him a starting spot against Cologne six days later.
The Chelsea starlet failed to get off the bench as Eintracht recorded a 3-2 win, and may struggle to regain his place in the starting line-up against Paderborn after the international break.
Chelsea signed Piazon from Sao Paulo in 2012, thanks largely to his exploits with the Brazilian Under-15 and Under-17 sides.
He made three appearances in the first half of his debut season with the west London outfit and managed to provide two assists, but was loaned out to Malaga for the second half of the campaign.
Jose Mourinho then sent him out on loan to Chelsea’s partner club, Vitesse, where he became one of the Eredivisie club’s star performers, scoring 11 goals in 31 appearances.
But Mourinho was not convinced the South American was ready for Chelsea’s first team and subsequently agreed for him to move on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt for the season.
Piazon grateful for opportunities
However, Piazon is grateful for the opportunities his loan clubs have managed to offer him over the past two years.
"In the Netherlands [with Vitesse] we were in the title race for a long time. In Spain I had a great time, because we played in the Champions League with Malaga. So I can't complain,” Piazon continued, “these clubs helped me a lot and, I hope, this year in Frankfurt will help me develop further."
Piazon: My situation is different to Courtois'
The Brazilian was also asked whether he drew inspiration from the story of Thibaut Courtois, the Belgian goalkeeper who established his status as one of the world’s best goalkeepers during his three years with Atletico Madrid before returning to Stamford Bridge to become the Blues’ new number one.
However, Piazon insists his situation is different to that of Courtois, and hinted that he is not entirely optimistic about making the grade under Mourinho.
"It's different with [Courtois],” Piazon added, “he has already made a name for himself and played for Atletico, a big club in Europe.
“I’m much younger and have to try to do a good job. When I can't play for Chelsea, then for another club.”