Oscar: I do not want to step on Lampard’s toes at Chelsea
Chelsea’s new signing Oscar has moved to avoid a potential conflict with Frank Lampard by insisting he is willing to act as a £25m makeweight at Stamford Bridge.
The 20-year-old midfielder described his transfer to the Champions League winners from Internacional, in a four-year deal, as a “dream” move. However the arrival of such a versatile and attack-minded talent will raise questions as to where he will fit alongside – or even replace – either Lampard, now 34, or Juan Mata.
Yet despite the price tag and burgeoning reputation, Oscar, part of Brazil’s Olympic football squad, is reluctant to rock the boat as he looks to become an integral part of manager Roberto Di Matteo’s plans.
“I’m going to meet and talk with the manager straight after the Olympics. I will be ready to do whatever the manager wants me to do,” said Oscar. “At [former club] Internacional I played in several different positions so I have no problem adapting and will play wherever I am needed.”
His name may be less well known than some of his team-mates in Brazil’s Olympics squad, but Oscar has already been hailed the “new Kaka” in his homeland. Hailing from the same Sao Paulo youth set-up as Kaka, he emerged as the brightest young star at last year’s Under-20s World Cup where his hat-trick against Portugal helped secure yet another title for Brazil.
Now, despite Rio Ferdinand’s Twitter jibe that Oscar will be the “only trophy Chelsea win this season”, the Brazilian aims to add yet more silverware with the London club.
Oscar said: “I’m very happy about my move to Chelsea. It is a big club and this move is a dream for me. They won the Champions League and I am going to Chelsea to win more titles in my career.”
The gifted playmaker was on the radar of several clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, but the approach from Chelsea proved too good to turn down.
He said: “I chose Chelsea because their project is very good, especially with younger players, and their proposal [offer] was very good. I didn’t have to think twice about accepting the offer.
“I have good friends at Chelsea in David Luiz and Ramires and I’m sure they will help me to settle in at the start and integrate. But Chelsea is a club that is more about the team than the individual and I am looking forward to the new season.”
Oscar, alongside the likes of Neymar, Hulk and Marcelo, faces Belarus at Old Trafford tomorrow in Brazil’s second game of the Olympics, having proved decisive against Egypt on Thursday by creating two goals in the 3-2 win.
Yet Brazil’s manager Mano Menezes is still hopeful, perhaps naively, that the rising star can still slip under the radar at the Olympics. Menezes said: “Oscar was very influential and set up a lot of moves for us. I was very happy but I don’t want to talk too much about him because then the opposition will target him. The rest of the team must now share the responsibility of creating attacking moves.”
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