Diego Costa and Eden Hazard may have made full recoveries from their disappointing early-season form, but Oscar has not – and it has cost the Brazilian midfielder significant time on the pitch. Amidst rumours of a potential departure from Chelsea, Oscar hopes that he can get a fresh start at Stamford Bridge under incoming manager Antonio Conte.
In an interview with Sky Sports [per the Daily Mail], Oscar revealed that the season has been ‘very difficult’ for him and blamed his early-season injuries on his inability to earn time under Jose Mourinho prior to the Special One’s sacking in December.
‘It’s been very difficult for me,’ Oscar said. ‘I had a great season last season and I’m coming from two or three seasons of doing well, but I was one of those players who got injured at the start of the season.
‘When I came back, the team wasn’t doing so well and I found myself on the bench and in and out of the first team. I didn’t achieve the level I wanted to achieve but hopefully next season I can do better.’
Even after the team hired Guus Hiddink to serve as interim manager, Oscar still did not see much improvement. However, the 24-year-old midfielder was hopeful that Antonio Conte will inject new life into the club.
‘[The new manager’s arrival] is great for the players. Obviously you have to prove yourself. I’m sure the coach has been following all the players individually.
‘It will be a breath of fresh air to the team and everyone’s excited to prove their worth to be here.
‘Obviously I haven’t been very happy because I haven’t been playing very much but, with the new coach coming in, it’s a fresh beginning for everyone.’
Oscar has three goals and three assists in the Premier League this season, as well as two goals and an assist in the Champions League. Last year he had six goals and eight assists for Chelsea as they won the Premier League title.
Follow Jonathan Machlin on Twitter @jtmlovessports