Chelsea midfielder Oscar has revealed he turned down a lucrative offer to follow former Blues teammate Ramires to Jiangsu Suning during the recent transfer window.
“There was interest in me but I’ve no desire to leave Europe. The idea of moving to China would be such a huge change for me and would go against everything I’ve achieved so far,” the Brazilian said.
“Chelsea are a fantastic, very big club and I’m still young. I’m only 24 so I’ve got a lot of football ahead of me.”
His decision to stay at Stamford Bridge could be a pivotal one, not just in his own career, but in the story of the club over the coming seasons as he has the potential to be one of the world’s best central midfielders.
Still sufficiently young that the Advertising Standards Authority forbids the use of his picture alongside gambling related content, Oscar has already won the Europa League and the Premier League during his four seasons with the Blues.
The Brazilian’s combination of eye for goal, creativity and combativeness is a rarely-encountered hybrid in an era of ever-increasing positional specialism.
Nominated Chelsea’s number ten at the expense of the otherwise universally-adored Juan Mata by Jose Mourinho in 2013/14, the Portuguese was clearly in little doubt as to how much he offered.
His influence on the Blues’ fates is writ large in the fact that they have lost half of the 16 matches in which he hasn’t started this term, as opposed to just 17% of those in which he made the XI.
In 30 appearances for the club during 2015/16, 24 of which were starts, he has scored eight times and assisted four more for teammates.
Having committed his future to Stamford Bridge, the Brazilian can now continue to blossom into one of the finest attacking midfielders in his generation and a true successor to Frank Lampard.