I was there in person to see Oscar survive this Jermaine Jones challenge and now he's got a new hurdle to jump - taking over Frank Lampard's spot at Chelsea. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
Things just continue to go from good to better at Stamford Bridge. Being the defending European Champions and having lots of someone else's money to spend will do that for you. With today's news that Oscar's move to Chelsea has been completed, we have to reach the conclusion that the Blues are assembling a young and potentially amazing attacking force that should frighten defenses across the Premier League.
As we stated in our major pre-season Chelsea update, the Blues have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball to make up the 35 goal gap in goal difference between their sixth place finish last season and those of Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the league. Earlier moves - Roberto di Mateo replacing AVB, Adding Gary Cahill, and adding Eden Hazard plus the maturation of Juan Mata, David Luiz, Ramires, and Daniel Sturridge will certainly start to chip away at that margin.
Bringing in a young player of undeniable talent like Oscar will help mitigate any potential decline by Frank Lampard. Being able to limit Lampard's minutes and easing Oscar into the line-up in 10, 20 and 30 minute increments with occasional spot starts will represent a great transition plan as one of Chelsea's legendary players starts to fade with age.
Here are some other thoughts on what this move may mean for everyone involved:
- The Center Forward Spot - In my mind, this increases the likelihood that Hazard will end up spending at least some time in a Messi-like role for Chelsea thereby eating into the chances that Fernando Torres starts regularly.
- Fantasy Values - If the plan ends up being what I suspect it will with Lampard being subbed out and Oscar easing into the rotation with a target of being the starter next season then the fantasy values for both Lampard and Oscar will be minimal. Lampard will still score well but his price will be too high for a 60 or 70 minute man.
- Major League Soccer - That sound you just heard was Don Garber's (he's the commissioner of MLS) ears perking up with the possibility that Lamps will be available as a high profile addition to the league next season. Similar alarm bells are likely going off in China, India, Russia and the Middle East. The Lamps-to-New York rumors have already been circulating this week with Chelsea on pre-season tour here in the US and they can only get louder with the man's successor now in place at great expense.