Due to the recent rumours about Oscar leaving Internacional to Chelsea and demands from fellow colleagues over at We Ain’t Got No History, a Chelsea fan blog, I decided to do a quick report on the Blues-bound player.
Oscar played through his youth in São Paulo, being called to be part of the team’s main squad in their 2008 Brazilian League title, but left them in 2009 after a judicial decision regarding his contract and transfer rights. In Jun 2010, he was announced as a new reinforcement for Inter’s squad. In his first year, he didn’t have much space in the main squad, and went to the U23 team where he won the Brazilian League U23 title. Soon he’d be called to join the main squad, becoming a regular starter in Internacional’s 2011 squad which won Rio Grande do Sul State Championship and Recopa Sulamericana pairing with Andrés D’Alessandro.
But this year, Oscar revealed himself in the limelight. Following a D’Alessandro injury which took him from the 1st months of Internacional’s season, Oscar went through a marvelous run as he became the team’s main player. His performances earned him a place in recent Mano Menezes’ NT call-ups, the most recent in a 4 friendly run against Denmark, USA, Mexico and Argentina, where Oscar impressed many by becoming one of the most consistent players in those games.
Oscar stands at 5’10” and approximately 150 lbs. He’s not strong or much pacey, but he’s certainly agile and he’s got a good amount of stamina in his frame. When on the pitch, you’ll see him running all over the pitch and he won’t look tired even though he’s only 20. Sometimes it’s worrisome, as this might not be visible and he could stay too long on the pitch increasing chances of picking up injuries. But work rate mostly brings good things.
Even though Oscar had a debacle a few months ago with his former club São Paulo regarding his contract and the decision over his resigning, the youngster is far from a troublemaker. So far, I haven’t read any reports over bad relationship to players, coaches or anyone but the team São Paulo. As for personality, he’s not a “lights out” type of guy like Neymar, or someone as timid as Rivaldo and Lucas Moura. He seems to be pretty mature considering he’s only 20 years old.
This is where Oscar truly shines. His refined passing has been standout since he played at Brazil’s youth NT when he was in São Paulo. The league’s physicality made it harder to adapt when he was in São Paulo’s main squad, but soon Muricy found a way for him to let his superior technique emerge. He’s not a highlight dribbler, but he’ll look for the short ones just to take the ball out of a tackler’s range. His finishing is fine considering he’s not a poacher, and his heading is surprisingly good, as well as his positioning. But what sets Oscar apart is his game vision. He is known to be capable of setting up great balls for his teammates over at Internacional. His through balls are a wonder to watch, and Leandro Damião had to thank Oscar for having the best year of his career.
Movement and Positions
Oscar, as a team worker, doesn’t shy away from tackles. Even though he’s got a habit of flopping on the ground when he started his career, this aspect of his game seems to be gone. In Brazil’s most recent games, Oscar was one of the best players in Mano’s press scheme, setting up many chances by balls won by him high at the pitch. In those same games, you could find him all over the field, but mostly running down the center and right lanes. This is highly influenced by the positions he’s capable of playing so far: MC/AMC and AMR. Being right footed and with a good crossing capability, he could come as a good winger, but seeing that the newest trend is employing inverted wingers, cutting inside wouldn’t be enough. One of his most evident characteristics is dropping back to work the ball when the game isn’t fluid. This could or could not mean he’s capable of employing a deeper role in his career. Pirlo and Modric transitioned well into it; both started as AMC and ended up as DM/MC. And Chelsea plans might be the same.
If the rumor is true, Chelsea has acquired a young player with potential to be world class. The question that remains is where Roberto Di Matteo or Michael Emelano, Chelsea’s football director, sees Oscar’s future. The Blues are flooding with very good and young AMCs in Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, and that’ll be an interesting story to see being developed.