20 Midfielder Eintracht Frankfurt (on loan from Chelsea) Brazil
2014 has been…
There’s a real danger of being underwhelmed by what should be seen as good progress when writing the 100. There’s also a danger of looking at a player like Piazón, seeing the third loan in a row materialise and comparing him to others in the list, those ensconced in their club’s first teams in particular. To do so is to disregard the Chelsea factor, and for Lucas’s career that’s quite a big issue.
For starters the loans aren’t an Andros Townsend style not-quite-sure-what-to-do-with-him early career trajectory. This, for better and for worse, is the Chelsea model; buy a young player with vast potential, loan him to somewhere else to assess and gain experience whilst remaining in constant contact, at some point try and send them to Vitesse, then sell for big money or move them into the first team. It has worked in financial terms (£11m profit on Kevin De Bruyne anyone?) but in terms of playing staff you can only really point to Thibaut Courtois as the player who went away and came back as a starter at Stamford Bridge, and we would argue he was special to begin with. So where does this leave Lucas Piazón and his last twelve months?
Well, as we said he’s done well. He had a good season at Vitesse, at times looking special, although admittedly at others looking like a passenger. The inconsistency is largely down to youth and inexperience; the special games are proof of the vast talent within. He’s now started in much the same fashion in Frankfurt this season – the outstanding and anonymous moments in equal measure. He is progressing by virtue of now playing in his third country in two years and gaining experience. He’s not slipping back, he has proved he has the talent, he now needs to keep building his game and gain that consistency to find a good level for ten to fifteen games straight.
There’s no doubting Chelsea have a really good player on their books and the last twelve months have evidenced that fact, but there’s also the reality of Chelsea’s first team squad - one of the best stocked in Europe. Steady, pleasing progress with the occasional flash of brilliance has been his path so far, the problem is he needs to be setting off fireworks in the middle and building rollercoasters on the wing to stand out at a club who could afford to send well over 20 players out on loan this season.
We’re fearful for his Chelsea future, we can’t help but see an inevitable move coming next time contract renewals are mentioned, but we’re not worried about whether he will make it somewhere. He’s good enough to play in a top division and be a very capable footballer who a couple of times a season will light up a game. That’s enough for most but not his current club.
So a move feels inevitable unless he bucks the trend. When signing for Chelsea a lot of people were tipping Piazón to make a first team impact far quicker than Oscar, believing he was the more gifted of the two. Since then that just hasn’t proved to be the case but there’s plenty of time and if/when that possibility of a transfer does come up there’ll be a queue of takers.
“Still blowing hot and cold, but when on his game shows the potential to be a brilliant player. Has phenomenal technique” – Cristian Nyari
"Only three players created more chances than Piazón in the Eredivisie last season (79); with 63 of those coming from open play." - OptaJoe
C Is there…more? Coming to the Chelsea crossroads fast, his next move will be key to how his career develops from here on
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