A Half-Term Report on Chelsea's Vitesse Loanee Lucas Piazon

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentDecember 20, 2013

BANGKOK, THAILAND - JULY 17: Lucas Piazon of Chelsea FC during the international friendly match between Chelsea FC and the Singha Thailand All-Star XI Rajamangala Stadium on July 17, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.  (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)
Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

If you support Chelsea and you want to know how 19-year-old Blues prospect Lucas Piazon is performing on loan at Vitesse, then continue reading. 


Piazon Half-Term Report Grade: A+

Vitesse manager Peter Bosz has allowed Piazon to express himself whereas then-Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini (now managing Manchester City) shackled Piazon with 92.9 percent of his games sub-affected.

Bosz made a bold decision to start Piazon against Roda over Giorgi Chanturia, a take-on specialist, who was a former Barcelona academy player. 

Piazon has started every Eredivisie game since.

Piazon Under Pellegrini and Bosz
First 11 League GamesPellegriniBosz

When Piazon was on loan at Malaga during the latter half of last season, his talent was not harnessed by Pellegrini. 

In comparison, Bosz has empowered Piazon, who has become Vitesse's MVP as he leads them in league goals scored, assists, key passes per game and is second in dribbles per game.

Piazon's attacking productivity is the main reason why the club are on top of the Eredivisie. 

Eredivisie Select Comparison
PlayerGoalsAssistsTotal Goals
Alfred Finnbogason16319
Graziano Pelle13215
Aron Johannsson10414
Lucas Piazon10818
Luc Castaignos9312


How Bosz's Vitesse Play Benefits Piazon 

Source: hayscout

TV graphics will tell you Bosz's Vitesse lineup in a 4-3-3, but in reality, it is more of a 4-2-1-3. 

The forefront of Bosz's team is to run up the score (PSV Eindhoven will attest to that after conceding six times against Vitesse). 

This is why Vitesse lead the Eredivisie in shots taken per game (19.2) and are tied with Twente for most league goals (40 in 17 games). 

Source: Vitesse.nl

Of the six Chelsea loanees, three have become consistent starters under Bosz: left-back Patrick van Aanholt, left-forward Piazon and deep-lying forward Christian Atsu. 

Van Aanholt is carrying on from where hyper-attacking left-back Alexander Buttner left off.

You will often see Piazon combining with an onrushing Van Aanholt, who averages the same shots per league game (1.7) as Fernando Torres

Source: Make A Gif/VitesseTV

Source: Make A Gif/VitesseTV

If midfield commando Theo Janssen, who had five assists in nine games, did not succumb to a cruciate ligament injury, Atsu would be warming the benches. 

He lacks Janssen's vision and is inefficient going forward (one goal from 26 shots), which is the same problem Renato Ibarra has (one goal, no assists from 17 games). 

Davy Propper plays the Aaron Ramsey role while Marko Vejinovic is the only pure defensive-minded midfielder. 

Bosz has facilitated an environment which is conducive to Piazon scoring and creating on a regular basis. 

Bosz is flexible and encourages Piazon to play a free-roaming position, which was evident in the 3-0 win over Cambuur where he was central for 48.6 percent of the game. 

Source: Squawka


Piazon's Strengths  

He went from an 11-game goalless run in league play on loan at Malaga to being one of the most efficient finishers in the Eredivisie. 

Source: Squawka

Piazon has scored 10 goals from 41 shots with an outstanding shooting accuracy of 70 percent (13 percent higher than Eredivisie-leading scorer Alfred Finnbogason). 

Playing alongside a selfless target man in 6'4" Mike Havenaar, who is fourth in shots taken per game at the club and drags defenders out of position, is a key factor in Piazon's success. 

Source: Make A Gif/VitesseTV

Goal-scoring aside, Piazon can predict a teammate's run and complete an incisive pass.

Source: Make A Gif/VitesseTV

Another strength this season is Piazon's penalty taking.  

Having his penalty in Chelsea's 8-0 win over Aston Villa saved by goalkeeper Brad Guzan seems like a one-off as Piazon is currently 3/3 in Eredivisie spot-kicks for Vitesse. 


Next Season

Piazon plays in the same position as Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle, so one of the two has to make way. 

One suggestion to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is to move Schurrle to the No. 9 role (like Theo Walcott, people forget Schurrle is a natural striker) and have Piazon push Hazard for a starting position. 

If you are to factor in Chelsea administrative incompetence, what could occur is the club including Piazon in a packaged deal to sign another world-class player big-money flop.

This is what happened when the Blues paid £21.3 million and sent former Vitesse loanee Nemanja Matic to Benfica in return for David Luiz—Chelsea were massive losers in that transfer. 



Statistics via WhoScoredFFT Stats ZoneSquawka and Transfermarkt.