The summer of 2012 marked a new beginning to the future of Chelsea Football Club as the owner decided that the club needs to not only win cups, but with style. He authorized the deals for young magicians Eden Hazard, Victor Moses, Marko Marin and Oscar Dos Santos to an already available Juan Mata. Well, people knew what each of the signings brought to the team, or at what position they played at, except for Oscar, who was somewhat a mystery signing as not many knew what his qualities were.
In Brazil, Oscar plays in the proper no.10 role, just behind the striker, the role that Juan Mata excels at Chelsea FC. When Mata is moved to the wings, his contribution is still admirable, but not at his best. While Oscar isn’t a winger at all. Though he has a very quick feet, and a superb crossing ability, he is no winger. He has the mindset of a number 10, he plays like one. Even when managers deploy him in the right or the left, his game remains like a number 10. He likes the short passes and acute dribbling which is really pleasing to the eye of the viewer. And he is capable of really magical moments from that position. But the issue is that, when he is put up in the number 10 role (atleast at Chelsea), he takes time to catch his feet. On some days he is magical, while on some others he is totally invisible.
When Di Matteo was in charge, the trio of Mata, Hazard and Oscar were given the front three role just behind Torres. However, there was a freedom to move according to will, so that meant that even if Mata started at the attacking midfield role, it wasn’t the same all through the game. Sometimes it would be Hazard, and sometimes it would be Oscar. So that meant each of the three had a chance to prove what they can bring in from the center. However, since Rafa has been in charge, Mata has been given the central midfield role and Oscar is given the wings as usual, however, the rotation in position is not as frequent as it used to be. Rafa Benitez obviously understood the limitations of playing Oscar in the wings and so many a times he preferred to play him as a central midfielder, just ahead of the holding midfielder, or maybe bench him so that he can be introduced with fresh legs for Juan Mata.
For me, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are the finished products (not the final finished, but finished as their positions on the pitch), however, Oscar is a different case. He is yet to be polished. If Hazard and Mata have reached 60-70% of what they are capable of, while Oscar is still at 40-50%. He has enormous talent, and can play at a wide array of positions, but the manager has to decide whether he wants this guy to play at the attacking midfielder role, or maybe in the holding midfielder role. And the day Oscar realizes the position that he is the best at, he can evolve into a player maybe even better than what Eden Hazard and Juan Mata is.
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