Why this Brazilian starlet can fill the Chelsea’s creative void
Creativity has often proved to be a problem for Chelsea this season, with the decision to sell Juan Mata to Manchester Untied in January credited by many pundits as the reason as to why their title challenge fell short in the end.
Many fans have bemoaned a lack of cutting edge and suggested that the club should be going out and spending large sums of money on somebody to assist Eden Hazard and Willian in carving out chances for the Blues, but in truth, Chelsea may already have the answer to their prayers already contracted to them.
Lucas Piazon is still young, but he has enjoyed a stunning season on loan with feeder club Vitesse Arnhem that has drawn comparisons with legendary Brazilian midfielder Kaka, due to his creative nous.
Alongside fellow Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu, Piazon has been at the heart of everything Vitesse have done well in the Dutch Eredivisie with the Brazilian having created a massive 78 chances for the club as they narrowly missed out on European football, having at one point looked to be on course for Champions League qualification.
This was only topped by three other players in the Netherlands and brought him eight assists in just 29 appearances for the Dutch club this season, more than any Chelsea player has managed in the Premier League, with Hazard topping their assist charts with seven for the campaign and no other player managing to top the five Fernando Torres claimed.
In addition to this, Piazon added 11 goals to finish as top goal-scorer at GelreDome, ensuring that he was directly involved in 19 goals for Vitesse this season, over a third of the total amount they scored in the Eredivisie this season.
Only Hazard managed to score more than that for Chelsea this season as he netted 14 times in the Premier League, but Piazon even boasts a better conversion rate than the Belgian attacker, having converted 26.2% of his shots on goal, compared to the 25.9% achieved by Hazard.
His shot accuracy of 64% is better than any Chelsea forward this campaign as well and he proved a difficult proposition for all defenders in Holland, as they managed to commit 40 fouls on the young Brazilian.
With 35 successful take-ons at a success rate of 49%, Piazon is comfortable running at defenders as well, should options not present themselves for a pass, giving him that perfect blend of pace, drive and incisiveness often lacking from the play of players such as Oscar and Andre Schurrle for Chelsea this season.
With Chelsea set to throw big money at star striking acquisitions this summer and Jose Mourinho having already claimed that UEFA Financial Fair Play rulings are a constraint on how much money Chelsea can throw at new signings, the Blues boss could do a lot worse than look to the players already contracted to the club for creative inspiration.
While the Eredivisie is obviously not as strong as the Premier League, Piazon has done a fine enough job in the Netherlands to suggest that he has all the abilities in place to make a significant impact at Stamford Bridge next season and Chelsea could do a lot worse than promoting the exciting Brazilian prospect to the first team to rival the midfielders already in place in West London.