Since first arriving in the Premier League off the back of a £25million move from Internacional in 2012, Chelsea’s Brazilian play-maker has paid witness to a somewhat stop-start career so far at Stamford Bridge.
The 23-year-old has shown glimpses of sheer talent at times, yet also flattered to deceive on several different occasions.
Oscar therefore goes down as one of the few Premier League footballers that remain seemingly difficult to categorise. He has the ability to split the English footballing community right down the middle in terms of those who admire the no. 8 for his skilful style, opposing those who wish to see that little bit extra given from a player who is yet to truly unlocked his full potential.
So then, with Champions League semi-finalists Juventus reported to hold a determined interest in landing the South American in the run up to next season, does Oscar still have a meaningful future left at Stamford Bridge?
“He just signed a new contract. He is one of the players with the best contracts, long-term contracts. He is in the best period of his career and we don’t want to sell,” he said.
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However, as we all must be well aware by now in today’s current footballing climate, what Premier League managers initially say, but then proceed to do, invariably ends up in them turning on their original word through certain developments that fall outside their hands.
Mourinho’s recent comments therefore have to be taken with a generous pinch of salt before they can be truly taken on board.
Oscar nevertheless has the potential to become a really top player though – that much is certain. He can drift through defences as if there is nobody standing in his way, his through-balls and vision often allow his teammates to profit easily from his creative nature on the ball – and as that all important finish against Juventus back in 2012 successfully proved – Oscar definitely has it in his locker to score some truly outstanding goals.
The problem for Jose Mourinho and his star-studded Blues outfit however, is that these goals simply don’t arrive frequently enough for the Brazilian to give him the undisputed recognition that several called for upon his arrival at Chelsea. Oscar all too often drifts out of certain games and has become victim to the ever testing and physical nature of the Premier League several times throughout his career in English football.
Even though his youthful age still gives him plenty of time to develop his game at the top level for Chelsea, it just seems as if the London club should have held onto either Juan Mata or Kevin de Bruyne if they really wanted to put their best talents on display.
Yes, the Blues made a great deal of money off the back of those two aforementioned stars – but as Chelsea didn’t seem too bothered about saving the pennies on their rise to the top of the Premier League table when Roman Abramovich first arrived in London – the club can’t act as if they have always held financial stability at the heart of their activity.
The suggestion of letting the 23-year-old Brazilian depart the safety of Stamford Bridge this summer is given all the more credence by the fact that 2014/15 has ultimately been a somewhat indifferent campaign for the South American. He has completely lacked the initial wow factor that first got him noticed on these here shores – but although he can certainly provide his teammates with some pretty special assists and passes now and then – his overall contribution this season has simply not matched the hefty price tag that brought him to Chelsea in the first place.
So then, whilst Oscar certainly remains a potentially promising talent for the next few years to say the least, at the moment his is simply not playing to his full potential – and if such a concerning trend continues for the quick-footed South American – Chelsea may have to think about cutting their losses on the star sooner rather than later.
In other words, the jury remains well and truly out when it comes to the case of Oscar and his future role at Stamford Bridge.