Saturday 24 February 2018

Oscar's Chelsea future thrown into doubt after crying off Man City clash with illness

Oscar withdrew from the squad at the last minute Credit: getty images
Oscar withdrew from the squad at the last minute Credit: getty images

Matt Law

The future of Chelsea midfielder Oscar has been placed in further doubt after the Brazilian withdrew from the squad to face Manchester City.

Oscar told interim manager Guus Hiddink and Chelsea’s medical staff that he was sick, which forced the Dutchman to make a late change after originally naming the 24-year-old among his substitutes.

Unlike injured Eden Hazard, who watched Chelsea’s defeat from a box, Oscar did not attend the game at Stamford Bridge after informing Hiddink he was too ill to be on the bench.

Oscar had started in the defeat to Swansea City, but was set to drop down to the bench for the visit of Manchester City with Willian fit again and Hiddink preferring to stick with youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Having fallen out of favour under former manager Jose Mourinho, Oscar has also struggled to hold down a regular place under Hiddink and is one of the players Chelsea could listen to offers for this summer.

Chelsea snubbed interest in Oscar from China during the January transfer window, while Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with moves for the player.

Incoming head coach Antonio Conte has already told the Chelsea players that he will demand total commitment and Oscar may not feel he can give the Italian that if he is going to spend long periods on the substitutes’ bench.

Oscar was involved in a training ground bust-up with team-mate Diego Costa earlier in the season after angering the striker with a dangerous tackle.

Asked why Oscar was not even named among the substitutes for the City game, Hiddink only replied: “Sick, he had stomach problems.”

Hiddink agreed that Oscar and the rest of the Chelsea squad are currently playing for their futures by attempting to impress Conte and his staff, saying: “They will make their analysis and deal with the current management. They analyse and see the games as well.”

Chelsea’s defeat without Oscar meant the Blues are poised to not only fail to qualify for the Champions League but also miss out on qualification for the Europa League.

Hiddink, though, believes Conte could see missing out on the Europa League as a blessing in disguise for his plans to rejuvenate the squad and implement new ideas.

“I think with the Premier League and also the Capital One Cup and FA Cup, but not being in Europe, it will give the new management and directors a chance to build a good team competing for a top four place,” said Hiddink.

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