Price tags mean nothing; they don’t make a player suddenly better. Oscar arrived at Chelsea from Internacional with a lot of people expecting the young Brazilian to turn into a star overnight, but the different style and pace on the field while adapting to a whole new country and language means it’s going to take some more time.
After beginning the season on the bench through the first month of Premier League wins, came the 2-2 draw against Juventus. Two goals, one of them an absolute scorcher with a spin and shot to beat Gianluigi Buffon, won him a place in the lineup as Roberto Di Matteo adapted the three talents solution for his team. Alas, at some point, too much flair but not enough substance began hurting Chelsea, among other things. Since Rafa Benitez has taken over, the three never start a match together, with Oscar being the one to take the bench role in the last few matches.
I started off being eased into the team, then I started my first match in the Champions League against Juventus and scored two goals. I expected to be coming off the bench, mostly, through the first few months of the season. Since then, I have been a regular in the first team, which has been great and something I really appreciate.
Oscar hasn’t started in the last three matches under Benitez (two league, one UCL), not appearing in the starting XI since November 28 and the 0-0 draw with Fulham.
I hope this can continue so I can grow and improve with every game I play for Chelsea. I’m very happy to be wearing the Chelsea shirt and to be able to help my team-mates and win games with them, so I hope I can continue my progression in order to help the club win many trophies.
So far, Oscar hasn’t scored in the Premier League. In 14 appearances, he has only one assist. It seems that there’s a good chance Benitez will start using Oscar in a more retreated role, one he often plays for the Brazilian national team, instead of as an attacking midfielder behind the striker. His defensive midfield problems can be improved thanks to Oscar’s play making skills. While not being the most powerful player on the pitch, he is disciplined tactically and doesn’t mind sticking to a defensive assignment for an entire match.
The biggest difference between the two leagues is that over here it’s more dynamic. The pace of the game in England is intense and frenetic and it’s probably a bit more technical in Brazil, but I love playing in the Premier League. It is one of the best leagues in the world, with some of the best players in the world. Most players would love to have an opportunity to play in this country.
I’m very pleased with how I’ve adapted to the move and the only problem I have is the language. I get along with all of the players, which is nice, and I’m picking it up English quite quickly, but it takes time. On the pitch, I’m learning and I can communicate quite well with most of my team-mates. Off the pitch, I enjoy living in London, so I’m very happy at the moment.
In the Champions League, maybe because of a different atmosphere and yes, pace, Oscar has been a bit more effective, scoring 5 goals in six appearances. So far, it’s hard to say the £25 million have paid off for Chelsea, but Oscar, 21, isn’t here for a season and to move on. The plan is to become a staple, maybe even a symbol at Stamford Bridge. The goals can be left to Eden Hazard and Juan Mata. Oscar doesn’t need those to know he’s doing a good job.