How Often Will Oscar Play?

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Oscar of Brazil clashes with Ryan Nelson of New Zealand during the Men's Football first round Group C match between Brazil and New Zealand on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at St James' Park on August 01, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

As you may have noticed, one of the standout players at this summer's Olympic Games is now the property of Chelsea. Brazil's Oscar has done very well at this tournament -- even his 'bad' game against Honduras on Saturday was pretty good -- and he looks like an extremely astute pickup for the Blues. I don't think there's anyone who's upset with us dropping a load of cash on Internacional for his services.

However!

Oscar is 20 years old and straight out of the Brasileiro. His favoured position is currently being fought over by Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, and it's probably reasonable to assert that he won't get much playing time in the hole against those two. We all have very high hopes for his development, and in time he should be able to play in a double pivot*, but it's far from clear that he'll be able to do that immediate.

*I've seen many folks assert that moving him deeper is 'wasting' his talent, but it seems to me that deep midfield is a more inherently valuable position due to defensive responsibilities and the number of touches you can expect in one game.

All of which raises an important question. How often will Oscar play next year? I guess we can't actually answer that right now on account of not being Roberto di Matteo (if you are Roberto di Matteo, please send me an email so I can shower you with love). But we can speculate. So, speculate away in the poll below.

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