Nine years ago, Lucas Piazon was one of several highly promising youth prospects to arrive at Chelsea who signaled a change in the club’s transfer strategy. While we were still looking to add top-class established talents, we were focusing on buying potential as much as current ability, both to restock the youth ranks and to reinforce the first-team.
Several years later, many of our youth talents have become key players in the first-team. Unfortunately, not all have made that leap or have made the same journey.
“At Chelsea there were a lack of opportunities. Before I was loaned for the first time, I was there for six months, playing three games, two as a starter and one as a substitute. I have two assists in my CV, and ever since then I have not played for them.”
Shortly after his debut as a professional at Chelsea, Lucas Piazon was recruited by Chelsea’s Loan Army. He is currently on his seventh loan stint since 2013, having made his way to several European clubs and countries before finally arriving in Portugal last summer, joining Rio Ave on a two-year loan deal.
“The environment at Rio Ave is really good, with a great energy. My adaptation to [Rio Ave head coach] Carlos Carvalhal’s playing style was easy. I like the team’s playing style and I did not have any issues. I had the expectations of finding an organised club and that was exactly what happened. I have another year in my contract with Rio Ave and I want to complete it.”
His immediate future clearly lies at Rio Ave. But beyond that, with his Chelsea contract good until June 2022, there is no way to anticipate where Piazon will be heading once his loan stint in Portugal is over.
Nevertheless, one thing he wants to do is finishing his career in his home country, Brazil. Better yet if he manages to do so with his former club, São Paulo.
“São Paulo was my childhood club, it was great being there for three years during my years as a youth player. I miss those time and I hope to get back. I do not intend to end my career in Europe. If I had the option to go back and finish my career in Brazil I would accept it, better yet if I had to do it at São Paulo.”
-Lucas Piazon; source: Rio Ave via O Jogo
The now 26-year-old Piazon has scored 4 goals in all competitions for Rio Ave, who were sitting 5th in the Primeira Liga, which would match their best ever finish in the top divison.