360 Preview: Oscar Dos Santos

Oscar Dos Santos is a player about whom the rumour mill has been buzzing crazily for the past couple of weeks. With a statement given by the president of Internacional (Oscar’s present club) stating that they had reached on an agreement with Chelsea over Oscar for £25m and with the player himself having stated that he has given a medical at Chelsea, it seems imminent that we will see Oscar at Stamford Bridge next season. Many fans are unaware about who Oscar is and where exactly he plays. I myself was unaware about him until a couple of months ago when the rumours that he was on Chelsea’s radars started surfacing.

Oscar is a Brazilian footballer who primarily plays as an attacking midfielder but is very versatile. He first impressed with his performances in the U20 Football World Cup in 2011. Playing well throughout the tournament, he also became the first player to score a hat trick in U20 World Cups by doing so against Portugal. He was named man of the match on that occasion. These performances also earned him his debut for the international Brazil side and he first played for the senior team in September 2011. He attracted the attention of a lot of the top European teams by his performances.
Oscar’s versatility is a major asset for him. He can play on either flanks and is good whilst providing crosses and the crucial passes too. He also plays as a no.10 (behind the striker in the hole) but I cannot see him getting the opportunity to do so at Chelsea with Eden Hazard and Juan Mata both being proven successes in that position. One key attribute is that Oscar can also play as a second striker. This will be very helpful for Chelsea as it will allow Roberto Di Matteo the option of playing with two strikers if the situation demands it. But in addition to these positions, Oscar is also effective as a deep lying midfielder. He is very good with intercepting passes and also providing the long balls to the midfielders and strikers out front.
Oscar’s game is mostly based on movement and short, sharp passing. Providing those crucial passes, Oscar can create lots of chances for strikers. He can also finish with both his legs and has powerful shots. Playing as a deep lying midfielder, Oscar can also make late runs from the midfield and score or create chances for others. A technical player, Oscar is also agile and very fast with the ball.
Oscar’s main drawback is his physique. He is not the most physical of players and gets bullied sometimes. He often loses the ball due to strong tackles. This makes one wonder whether he will be suitable for the Premier League as it is one of the most aggressive and physical leagues around the world. Oscar also lacks stamina and sometimes runs out of it and drifts away. His concentration does not remain on the game when his stamina reduces. He is not someone who can always play the full 90 minutes and will probably be brought in as an impact substitute until he can gain some stamina. However, he is still only 21 years old and has time to improve as a player. At a club like Chelsea, he can get lots of help from great midfielders like Frank Lampard and also our manager, Roberto Di Matteo, to improve his abilities and nullify his drawbacks.
Whether Chelsea require a player like Oscar is debatable. Many fans think, and I agree, that buying a midfielder right now is not exactly what Chelsea need. With the arrival of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin, Chelsea already have young talent and many of them are versatile but primarily attacking midfielders- just like Oscar. It makes you wonder whether buying a player unproven in the Premier League or Europe for £25m is worth the gamble. One thing is for certain that Oscar will have to fight hard for a place in the starting XI and if he does that, it would be an achievement in itself for him. If Oscar will prove worth his price tag and the importance that Internacional attach to him, only time will tell…until then, KTBFFH.

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