Apologies for my lame attempt at an Oscar “joke” in the headline. But I’d advise you to get used to it. We’re going to see many such jokes now!
Back to the matter at hand… Chelsea have signed Oscar. The highly-rated Brazilian midfielder completed his move to Stamford Bridge after a few weeks of speculation linking him to the club. Question is, where exactly will we play him?
It’s an interesting question, considering how versatile Oscar is. He is an attacking midfielder, but can also play on the wings or even as a deep lying play-maker. I believe that his versatility is one of the main reasons Chelsea signed him in the first place. With his ability, he can slot in to any one of the midfield positions in our 4-2-3-1 formation.
Here’s taking a look at where he could play, the chances of him playing in that particular position & how he would perform in whichever position he is played in:-
1) In the hole– Oscar’s preferred position is to play in the hole behind the striker i.e. the No. 10 role. I believe he will be lethal if played in that position. He has the ability to find the striker with that killer pass, & he doesn’t rush the pass either. He has quick feet & is very skillful, which means he doesn’t find it difficult to keep possession. There is no doubt that he would do a fine job if played in that position. But with Mata having made that position his own last season & Hazard also making it clear that he would like to play more centrally, I don’t see Oscar playing as our “No. 10” too often.
2) On the wings- Oscar has played on the right wing before. With his natural talent & skills, it isn’t hard to understand why. He can keep the ball well, & is known for his ability to pick out a team-mate with a good pass. If he plays as a winger at Chelsea, he would add another dimension to Chelsea’s wing-play. However, I don’t see him playing on the wings an awful lot. Hazard, Mata & Marin will almost certainly be the first-choice wingers. Throw in the fact that both Ramires & Sturridge also played on the wings last season, & I can confidently say that Oscar will not be used as an option out wide. Don’t be surprised if he isn’t used as a winger on a regular basis.
3) Central midfielder– I expect Oscar to be used in this position more often than not. For a while now, Chelsea’s Achilles heel has been a lack of a deep lying creative influence. And Oscar could very well be the solution to that problem. In a double pivot such as the type that Chelsea use, it’s preferred that one of the players is a creative influence, while the other is more defensive minded. Chelsea have options in the defensive midfield area, but no one to influence the game in a creative manner. I expect Oscar to play quite a few games in that position.
Everything that I have said here is predictive at best. I’m not inside Robbie Di Matteo’s head, so I don’t know how exactly he will use Oscar. But one thing is for sure, Chelsea supporters can expect big things from this talented young Brazilian.
By Shayne Dias