Antonio Conte has categorically denied suggestions that midfielder Oscar and Cesc Fabregas are set to leave the club in the January transfer window. The two players have been very sparingly used by the Chelsea manager. While Fabregas has at least been getting attention for the lack of games, Oscar has become a totally forgotten entity in this Chelsea squad. Of course, it would be hard to concentrate on those not receiving game time when the team is functioning so well.
Now, though, the January transfer window is fast approaching and there are bound to be numerous rumours surrounding these two players. Conte said:
“Oscar’s future is Chelsea. For me he is an important player in my squad. He is in good form.
“It is logical that I have to choose the starting XI every week but Oscar is a great player and, for me, he stays in Chelsea.
“It’s important send this message to all. He will stay with us because I consider him an important player.”
While the switch to the 3-4-3 formation has been hugely rewarding to the club, it has also given rise to some crazy statistics, which can be found by visiting this site, that show how far behind Oscar and Fabregas have fallen behind in the pecking order. Oscar has only made two substitute appearances since the switch to this new formation. Meanwhile, Fabregas has not featured in the Chelsea squad since being named on the bench in the game against Hull City.
Inter Milan have been linked with a move for the player, while Fabregas has been a transfer target for archrivals AC Milan. Yet, it is not surprising that Conte has stated that these two players.
The Italian has been struggling to give much game time to these players largely because the absence of European football. There is little doubt that Conte would not be adamant with giving these quality players a chance in the team had it not been for the lack of matches. The situation is expected to improve considerably if Chelsea progress as expected and qualify for the Champions League next season.
Signed from Brazilian outfit International back in 2012 for £25 million it would not be surprising to see Oscar back in the first-team reckoning before the end of the season. Fabregas, though, is a different story and he is very likely to leave the club in January. It would be sad to see him go, but he has provided two years of outstanding passing and vision. It may be a long time before the blues get to see a player of his stature represent the club.