This question has started doing the rounds recently. There are reports coming out that Antonio Conte is an admirer of Javier Pastore and wants the PSG man at Chelsea next season. Pastore was quite successful in his spell with Palermo and it is reported that Conte has wanted to work with the Argentine since then. However, it was Paris St. Germain that got to sign the midfielder for a mammoth amount of 39.8 million Euros at the end of the 2011 Serie A. Now with Conte coming back to club management will he be trying to get the talented Argentine in the Chelsea dressing room? And reports have also surfaced that Pastore will directly replace Brazilian Oscar who apparently doesn’t’ fall into the plans of Conte. Will this be a good move? Will Chelsea get upgraded once they replace Oscar with Pastore? Let’s us have a look at this in detail.
Both Oscar and Pastore are creative midfielders. Both had made a name for themselves in their early age because of their play-making abilities. Oscar supposedly is a good dribbler, is very creative in his runs, has a great vision and is able to provide precise passes. He is known to press the opponents high up into their box and make them get confused with his cunning runs. Pastore is also known to be a player with a good vision and ability to provide accurate passes. He is also known to be quick, strong and hardworking. Both Oscar and Pastore are known to give good performances when they play just behind the striker, but both of them can play out wide too. Playing style wise, both of them match each other in a lot of areas.
Oscar is having mediocre seasons right from his second year with Chelsea. In the current campaign, he has made 25 appearances, scored 3 goals and has created 3 assists. He also has had an average pass accuracy of 81% but has had a shot accuracy of just 50%. Last season, he scored 6 goals and created 37 chances. He had an average pass accuracy of 83% but still had a shot accuracy of 51% He just doesn’t seem to be developing into the world class midfielder that was expected of him. He had a brilliant first season with the club where he was very good on the creative front but post that, he has just seemed to face out.
Pastore, on the other hand, has had a bit of a different career at PSG. He had very average first 2 seasons where he was just okay in the creative front. He certainly didn’t justify the huge price tag that he carried. However, it was in the 2014-15 campaign where he seemed to redeem himself a little bit. He made 34 appearances, scored 5 goals and created 56 assists. He also won close to 50% of his average duels and had an average pass accuracy of 81%. However, he too had a low shot accuracy of 51%. In the current season, he again had a dip in form. He has made just 14 appearances and scored 2 goals. The injuries are to be blamed for it as he missed most part of the first 2 months of the current season due to it. However, since his return he has just created 20 chances and has had a shot accuracy of 42%. He has just completed 91 passes this season. Even though he had a good 3rd season, he too has not been able to live up to the level of performance he had shown in his Palermo days.
Chelsea are in desperate need of a club overhaul and needs new players to come in to provide some fresh insight into the team. But does Pastore provide any edge over Oscar right now? Both of them seem to have had a below average season. To be honest, Pastore has had a worse season as compared to Oscar. Both of them have seen the bench a lot of times this season but Pastore has seen it way more than Oscar. Also for a player who has played in the Argentine, Italian and French leagues will ideally have a lot of difficulties to adjust to the English league. Also on the age factor, Pastore is 26 and is 2 years older to Oscar who is 24. Though Pastore is still at a young age in his career, Oscar still gets 2 more years to learn as compared to him.
So does replacing Oscar with Pastore seem like an upgrade? For me, it isn’t. Both of them look like having the same stage in their career. I might be wrong and Conte might do wonders with Pastore. But at this very moment, Pastore doesn’t look anywhere an upgrade for Oscar.