It has been a good time to be a Chelsea fan in the past month or so, with the men in Blue dominating pretty much every opposition we’ve faced since the switch to three at the back.
The system has improved the form of many players, mainly Matic and Hazard among others. But it is looking like the new formation could prove to be the end of none other than the man who used to be one of our most promising players, Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior.
Conte has assured us that Oscar is still in his plans, and to some it would be completely believable. Oscar is still young and versatile enough to adapt and improve enough to earn his place in our starting line up back. In reality however, things are not looking so bright for the Americana-native.
When Chelsea signed him, Oscar was supposed to have potential close to that of compatriot Neymar, and both were supposed to lead Brasil to a new era of glory, and while Neymar is already delivering on his huge promise, our man has fallen behind despite showing promise over and over again.
Most of us remember Oscar’s debut against Juventus, probably including Conte. At the time, the baby-faced Brazilian showed the world that he could very well compete with the very best, having stifled none other than Andrea Pirlo and scored two extraordinary goals. At the time, it was a performance that left all who saw it raving about the gem that Chelsea had landed.
It’s been just over four years since that night and a lot has changed at the club-for better or for worse- but Oscar’s inconsistency has not. For one reason or another, Oscar was unable to do what the likes of Neymar and Hazard did- to be able to perform virtually week in-week out and it is becoming clearer that he might not have much time left to do that- not at Chelsea anyway.
After initially trusting Oscar in the new 4-3-3 formation, Conte decided a change was best after two horrendous displays against Liverpool and Arsenal. The new shape meant that Oscar was to be relegated to the bench, with no place for a number ten or a number eight in our 3-4-3 system.
And while Conte has played Oscar as one of the two attackers on each side of the striker, it was always clear that Oscar cannot play that role. Our manager has however, remained adamant that the 24 year-old is still part of his plans:
But in-spite of these reassurances, Matt Law (probably the most trustworthy journalist in the world when it comes to Chelsea) has recently confirmed that the club is open to selling the midfielder for little or no profit on what we signed him for in 2012.
Conte’s comments might be similar to what he said about Cuadrado before he was shipped out to Juve, or what another manager said about Schurrle and Salah before they were also sold. We will definitely know more by January on how much we really want to hold on to our man but what is certain right now is that Oscar is not getting anywhere near the starting-XI unless he dramatically improves his form and consistency.