The missing piece in the Chelsea puzzle?
Chelsea fans got their first glimpse of what summer signing Oscar can do during last night’s 2-2 draw with Juventus at Stamford Bridge.
The £25million signing from Sao Paulo capped an impressive performance with a brace, with his second goal being described by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp as “a computer game goal.”
Baring in mind the previous Chelsea number 11 was club icon and legend Didier Drogba, Oscar has huge boots to fill. As well as being a different type of player, it is also far too early to draw any sort of comparison, but Chelsea fans will have been extremely excited by what they witnessed last night.
The maturity the 21-year-old displayed in the heart of the Chelsea midfield was evident in the manner in which he dealt with Andre Pirlo, not allowing the Italian veteran to get on the ball and dictate games as he does so often.
He showed superb energy, willingness, and above all class. There was no sign of nervousness or unwillingness to play his natural game, which deserves great credit considering he is a 21-year-old making his Champions League debut for the European cup holders. It is clear he has become accustomed to playing under pressure from an early age, having being hailed as Brazil’s new number 10.
Oscar’s performance gave an indication as to the way Roberto Di Matteo is trying to evolve Chelsea this season. He will prove pivotal in the Italian’s attempt to get his side playing a more expansive passing game, playing in the role of the central playmaker.
Di Matteo has done some excellent transfer business this summer. Eden Hazard looks a class act, whilst Marko Marin and Victor Moses will provide healthy competition for places, whilst no doubt chipping in with their fair share of goals and assists.
But last night’s emergence of Oscar will have really got the fans dreaming.
For me there is no reason why Chelsea should not be considered favourites for the title alongside Manchester City and Manchester United. Their squad is second to none, and their start to the season has been impressive.
What is exciting for Chelsea fans, is that they are only going to get better as the new signings continue to settle. The form of Fernando Torres will arguably prove most crucial to determining how far they can go this season, but with the likes of Hazard and Oscar able to provide assists, you do not hold the same concerns for the Spaniard as previously.Whilst not on the scoresheet last night, Torres looked busy and showed hunger that was at times missing from his game last season.
Frank Lampard has slotted into a more defensive role with ease, looking at home playing alongside Jon Obi Mikel, spraying passes and getting attacks started. The partnership of Lampard and Mikel provides a solid base for Oscar to go and express himself.
It is still early days for the Brazilian, but last night was an exciting indication of what we can expect from him over this season and many to follow. He has a tough job on his hands to earn a place in Chelsea’s star-studded line up and to keep out Juan Mata in the role of the central playmaker.
Di Matteo has something of an embarrassment of riches at his disposal. It is now his job to try and keep them all happy and at the level they have been performing so far this season. If that is achieved, Chelsea fans could be very happy come May.