Lucas Piazon was always the one that slipped through the net. The 22-year-old was meant to be the next big thing when he signed for Chelsea aged just 17, but we’ve seen little of him in the Chelsea first-team since them.
And boy could the Blues have used him if he was up to the level needed to perform at the Premier League. It’s been a tough old season for everybody down at Stamford Bridge and with the attacking talent on display being a little reserved at some points this campaign, has Piazon got a future in London? Perhaps, but it wasn’t something interim manager Guus Hiddink ever seemed like doing and the winger has been on-loan at Championship outfit Reading instead.
He’s done reasonably well at the Madejski, too, scoring five times in 22 appearances for Brian McDermott’s side. But it still feels like there is something missing in the former Sao Paulo youngster’s game. Whether it is a particular skill or trait is unclear, it just hasn’t quite worked out for the young Brazilian at an extremely competitive football club.
It’s almost a shame though for both Chelsea and Piazon. Whether he can integrate himself back into the side upon the expiration of his loan deal at Reading or not is as of yet unknown, but we know it will be difficult… but not impossible. It speaks volume that Chelsea have kept hold of the youngster for this long without letting him go – they obviously think there is some sort of promise or potential there.
But six years after he walked through the gates of Stamford Bridge, it’s still not happened for the Brazilian so you need to ask whether that is always how it’s going to be.
Piazon has picked up some great experience all over the world whilst out-on-loan over the past years or so, playing at Malaga, Vitesse Arnhem, Eintracht Frankfurt and now Reading in the Championship, but none of these teams scream ‘world-class quality’. While a spell in the English second tier will have been useful, it’s not going to get him in at Barcelona or Real Madrid now – it’s all just a little too late.
Piazon’s biggest problem now is the battle for places and the overall competition at the club. While he has first-team stars Willian, Pedro, Eden Hazard and Oscar to overcome, there is also that never-ending list of Chelsea players that are still out on-loan. In fairness to Piazon, there is nothing that he can personally do about this, but it’s going to be in this way for as long as he is at the Bridge.
The best thing for Piazon now is that he makes a move whilst he’s still young. Whether one of the sides he’s featured in might want to take him back is yet to be seen, but its going to be a battle to make it to the top for Piazon now.
Who knows, he could be another Kevin De Bruyne… then again his story could echo that of Josh McEachran.