Why Chelsea's Oscar Would Be a Great Transfer Option for Juventus
Now what? After being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Bayern Munich, Juventus were reminded once again of the gulf that exists between them and the truly great European clubs.
Indeed, while the Bianconeri have shown they can overcome the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Manchester City, their defeat to the Bundesliga giants—and the loss to Barcelona in last season’s final—shows that coach Massimiliano Allegri’s men still need to improve.
Understanding where they can make that leap is difficult, with the defence, midfield and attack all looking individually strong yet failing to compete when faced with the very best teams. Gazzettadello Sportoffered one interesting hypothesis last week, with the Italian newspaper suggesting Juve may look to sell Paul Pogba and overhaul their squad.
The report (h/t Gazzetta World) linked the French midfielder with a €100 million move away this summer, and that fee could be used to sign the likes of Uruguay international striker EdinsonCavani andHenrikhMkhitaryan of Borussia Dortmund.
Yet one name that has been constantly linked with a move to Turin is Chelsea playmaker Oscar, and Sportsmediaset (h/t Football Italia) insisted Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici travelled to Stamford Bridge to watch the Brazilian in action against Paris Saint-Germain two weeks ago.
If that was indeed the case, the club official would have been disappointed to see Oscar only introduced as a 77th minute substitute as the English side were eliminated, but it is clear the 24-year-old has many admirers within the Juve management team.
That undoubtedly includes Mr Allegri, who spoke openly of his admiration for the Chelsea man when the club were linked to him last summer, listing him among a number of creative players during an interview with LaRepubblica.
“I would really like a player who can invent a match and is never predictable. I need that wild card within a balanced, structured tactical scheme,” the coach said back in June (h/t ESPN FC). “I like Real Madrid's Isco a lot, and Oscar but I also like two young Italians, Domenico Berardi and Federico Bernardeschi.”
It is relatively simple to understand why Allegri would like theBianconeri to add such a player, particularly to a squad that already boasts the midfield intelligence of Claudio Marchisio and SamiKhedira.
With the pace of Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado out wide, a creative star like Oscar could well prove to be a superb acquisition, despite failing to match his 2014/15 form during the current campaign.
His 35 appearances in all competitions this term have seen him weigh in with just eight goals and three assists, yet statistics show he has maintained similar numbers across the board elsewhere, averaging 1.1 key passes in league play this season compared to 1.3 last year, courtesy of WhoScored.com.
The same source shows he has connected with 80.6 per cent of his 40.3 passes per game in the Premier League, while he also works hard defensively—as he would be expected to in Serie A—to make an average of 2.2 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game in all competitions.
He also seems to have the ideal mindset for a tactically flexible coach like Allegri, expressing a willingness to do whatever he is asked—an approach that would be essential given the Juve boss’ love of switching between formations.
“I like to play wherever the coach wants me,” Oscar said in a May 2015 interview with Squawka’s Daniel Anwar. “As long as I can play with the ball at my feet and look around, help balance the side and create chances, I am happy. That’s what I’m there to do.”
That, combined with his vision, technical attributes and overall quality, makes Chelsea's Oscar a great transfer option for Juventus as they look to join European football’s elite group of teams.