Antonio Conte’s Italy side finally lost 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday evening, after a couple of good wins over Belgium first and then Sweden. The group E toppers will now face off against Spain in the next round and the former Juventus manager will want to take his side all the way. Once the tournament concludes, Conte will be off to England, where he will take charge of Premier League giants Chelsea.
The Blues are hoping to get back to winning titles and the new incoming boss will want to sign some more quality players to add to his current squad, this summer.
However, it will be interesting for Conte to retain his existing stars as well, especially the ones that he feels will be quite useful to him in the upcoming campaign. One such player is Brazilian international Oscar, whose future at the club looks quite uncertain.
The midfielder was thinking about leaving the club, prior to the start of the new season, though recent reports had stated that the Italian manager wanted the former Internacional star to stay. The 24 year old superstar is a team-player and was used in various roles during former boss Jose Mourinho’s time at Stamford Bridge, with the one of a destructive midfielder gaining prominence.
The versatile midfielder was used both in attacking and defensive roles, with Oscar failing to deliver at times up front and was eventually dropped to the bench at times, which seemed a bit harsh. His form has seen it’s ups and downs at the club, prior to the Portuguese manager’s sacking and interim boss Guus Hiddink utilized him smartly as well.
Now, the thing is that Conte is going to bring a very defence minded strategy along with him, which he will want to employ at the west London outfit. It could mean that Oscar might once again be employed in a similar role and though he might not be asked to be the main play-maker in the side, breaking down the opposition attacks before they can gain any sort of momentum, could be his main role in the team.
With that said and done, Oscar is still quite young and can give a lot of years to the London based club, if he is used properly and not allowed to leave any time soon. Conte will be trying to hold on to him, as some of his other players might already be considering a move away and letting so many first choice stars from last term leave, will not be advisable.
It will be interesting to see whether the new boss can hold on to this key star or not, who has made a total of 121 league appearances scoring 21 goals for Chelsea, since joining them in 2012 and has also helped them win quite a few titles.