Chelsea are reportedly considering selling Brazilian playmaker Oscar, according to reports. Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested in the 22-year-old, and it’s suggested that Chelsea may be tempted to shift one of their brightest young talents in order to fund the signing of a new striker.
But despite their obvious need for a centre-forward, the Stamford Bridge outfit must resist the temptation to cash in on Oscar.
According to John Cross in the Mirror, Chelsea would be able to recoup almost double the £19 million they paid to sign the Brazilian from Internacional. A sum of circa £40 million would certainly be enough to bring in the classy striker that the club needs so desperately needs but at what expense?
The prodigious Brazilian is a player who may not catch the eye when compared to the flashy Eden Hazard or the dynamic Willian, but he is just as vital to this Chelsea side. And he’s only going to get better under the rule of Jose Mourinho.
There’s a reason why Mourinho looked to offload Juan Mata in January, and that’s because Oscar is tailor-made to play as his No. 10.
Despite his boyish looks and slight somatotype, the Brazilian is a terrier off the ball. He presses well, hassles opposition players diligently and certainly isn’t one to shirk a tackle.
|Appearances (As a sub)||22 (8)|
|Average passes per game||36.7|
|Average key passes per game||1.4|
|Pass success rate||82.5%|
They’re all characteristics that Mourinho demands from his players and Oscar has that in abundance. That is, of course, in addition to his wonderful vision, silky control and varied range of passing.
Oscar started this season superbly under the tutelage of the Portuguese. Hazard was struggling to adapt to Mourinho’s philosophy, Mata was on the fringes and Kevin De Bruyne was out of favour. So Oscar took up the mantle. He set the tone for the season with excellent showings against Hull City and Manchester United and was very much Mourinho’s main man in those few months.
His growing influence on the team certainly didn’t pass the Chelsea supporters by:
Beautiful control there from Oscar before the shot. He's fast becoming our most important player. Quality.— Russell Saunders (@bridgeviews) August 26, 2013
Naturally, his game has dipped as this season has gone on. It’s certainly understandable when you consider he’s never been asked to do so much work and he’s never played such a key role in this Chelsea team.
It’s something Mourinho himself picked up on back in February per Sky Sports:
Maybe in the last couple of matches he was not the same, because in the beginning of the season he was the best player in the team.
He was the player that was really making the difference in the first three, four months of competition.
In this moment he's not being a match-winner, he's not scoring goals, but he's not playing bad. Not real problems.
It’s obvious that Mourinho is a huge admirer of the player and next season expects the 22-year-old to take his game on again. He’ll be more mature, he’ll have had another pre-season with Mourinho and he’ll be coming off the back of a World Cup where Brazil are expected to do very, very well
Should Chelsea sell Oscar to fund a move for a top quality striker?
Selling him now and bringing another a striker would be so counterintuitive. Any forward that comes to Chelsea will be better if Oscar is there too.
Yes, Hazard is a wonderfully creative player, but the Belgian thrives on doing things himself. Willian too, whilst he is a live-wire with the ball at his feet, he’s not a player to pick a pass between the lines into the feet of an onrushing striker.
Oscar is the man for that. His ability to find pockets of space between the lines and thread passes in behind the defence is second to none at Chelsea. His movement is so clever but so understated and subtle that it is barely noticed.
Mourinho has an obvious blueprint for players in his squad and Oscar ticks all the boxes. If Chelsea need to sell to buy in the summer, one of the last players they should think about moving on is their Brazilian playmaker.