OSCAR is the man Jose Mourinho has identified as the player he wants to build his team around.
The Brazilian has been in sparkling form and was the one player to emerge with credit from the hugely disappointing 2-1 home defeat to FC Basel in midweek.
“At this moment, Oscar is my number 10. If someone tells me Oscar is not Chelsea’s best player I’ll disagree,” said the Chelsea boss.
“I’m not ready to play Oscar on one side as his creation and intensity is in that position [in the hole]. Oscar plays in that position with more quality. I want to build with Oscar as my number 10 and the players on the sides to adapt to that reality.”
That suggest fans' favourite Juan Mata is going to be cast into a subsidiary role this season, but Mourinho will not be drawn.
“There are things that I can’t say but I can with the players,” he said.
“He [Mata] is not playing so much. I can speak with him but not with you. He started against Everton and you can analyse his performance. He played against Basel. He come in when the team was winning 1-0 and had specific tasks to do. I can’t speak with you. It’s part of a process.
“One thing is to play with Ramires and Oscar in the side and Mata playing behind the striker to have a great assist. Another thing is to adapt to the way we want to play.”