So far Lucas Piazón has struggled to establish himself at Chelsea, as Joe Tweeds writes…
Lucas Piazón must be kicking himself. At the time of signing him in the summer of 2011, Chelsea had an extremely talented teenager who was destroying fellow U18 sides in the academy on a regular basis. He had briefly sampled the delights of first team football and while not wholeheartedly impressing, he certainly played okay given his opportunities.
Two years later and Chelsea boast one of the best collection of attacking midfielders in Europe, while Piazón spent half a season on loan at Málaga playing second fiddle to Isco.
Piazón is perhaps a decade too late in his style as a footballer. He is a midfielder in the Kaká mould, shunted out wide and told to operate from the flank. Despite some early promise he has been stunted by his inability to fully translate his ability against men. Not every youngster can instantly command the field against adults, but the struggles of Piazón were tangible. He rarely influenced matters like he did for the U18s, where he was a standout performer.
If he is going to breakthrough at Chelsea then this season’s loan to Vitesse is crucial for his development. He has arguably the toughest task of all Chelsea youngsters – dislodging six international footballers, all under the age of 25, from the squad. If Victor Moses cannot do so, then the chances of Piazón making the grade seem remote.
He should benefit from regular playing time but the same question will remain for Piazón – can he make the leap from playing against people his own age to playing football against men.
However, Piazón is now making a name for himself on loan at Vitesse. Michiel Jongsma reveals more…
Have Chelsea bought a Vitesse player to strengthen their midfield? To compare Marco Van Ginkel and Lucas Piazon is perhaps slightly unfair, as the former is a more versatile midfielder, but the impact of the latter has been undeniable. All of Arnhem were worried about how Vitesse could cope with losing their midfielder, who had provided 8 goals and 8 assists in 33 league games for the Arnhemmers. 17 games into the new season, Lucas Piazon has already eclipsed those numbers, with 10 goals and 8 assists to his name.
The 19-year-old has already been lauded as the best player in the Eredivisie and his class is undeniable. In the first half of the season he has shown that dubbing him ‘The New Kaka’ is not only a hint towards their similarities in appearance, but also a recognition of his quality. He combines technique and vision with a seldom seen swagger and while it remains to be seen if he’ll ever get a chance at Chelsea, it seems rather certain he’ll make waves in international club football soon. In that light, he could well follow the path of Nemanja Matic, who did well at Vitesse and then became a star at Benfica.