Oscar is proving to be Chelsea's most important player

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Oscar scored a sensational free-kick to set Chelsea on their way to a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, and in doing so has started to earn the sort of recognition his impressive start to the season deserves.

The Brazilian midfielder has gone quietly about his business as summer signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas continue to draw the majority of plaudits that have already been lavished on the early Premier League pacesetters in 2014/15.

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One person that is not underestimating the important role the South American is playing in the Chelsea team this term, though, is Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho, who paid tribute to the versatile playmaker after the weekend win at Selhurst Park.

"Oscar, in this moment, is not a number 10," the Blues tactician is quoted saying by the Daily Mail. "He had an evolution, a mental, tactical evolution that allows him to be a fantastic player.

"He's not a number 10 that plays with the ball at his feet, he's a number 10 that looks back, looks to the side, analyses the game and sees where the team needs him to move to get the ball and also to create balance.

"Can he physically improve? Of course. [But] people forget that he is still so young."

It's true that the 23-year-old's influence at Stamford Bridge seems to be increasing with every game, even after a slight dip in form towards the end of the previous campaign.

Oscar's ability to operate effectively in a handful of different positions means he's an invaluable asset to Mourinho, having excelled alongside Nemanja Matic in a slightly deeper-lying midfield role.


The former Internacional star's hard work and conscientious approach to first-team duties has also allowed other team-mates like Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle to thrive in the final third, freeing the wide-men to drift inside at their own will with Oscar diligently filling in on either flank.

In the ongoing absence of injured striker Costa, the Brazil international's flexible role is likely to take on even more responsibility, although his goalscoring contribution is one area that by the player's own admission still needs some work.

However, his support-role which seems to be primarily based on getting the best out of Chelsea's more dangerous attack-minded players, makes him unquestionably one of the most crucial components of Mourinho's match-winning make-up moving forward.

The £70,000-a-week star's evolution from peripheral playmaker to all-round midfield maestro means that despite the undeniably positive impact that Messrs Costa, Fabregas and Matic have had since arriving in west London at different periods in 2014, it's Oscar that continues to have the greatest overall influence, even though he's received a modest amount of public acclaim.

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