The Brazilian teenager and Jose Mourinho seemed to reach a mutual agreement quickly, which has seen the 19-year-old link up with Vitesse for the rest of the current season.
Chelsea’s midfield is blessed with quality and with Eden Hazard always going to start ahead of him on the left side of the Blues’ midfield, Piazon faced a season in the bench had he stayed at Stamford Bridge.
The good news is he’s doing everything that Mourinho would have been hoping for, going up against Hazard well in several key areas.
Piazon has started every match he’s been selected for at Vitesse this season with seven starts so far.
Hazard has made six starts in the Premier League and has come off the bench on one occasion so there’s nothing between the two similar midfielders in terms of their importance to their respective sides.
Goals and Assists
In terms of goals and assists so far this season, Piazon is way out in front ahead of Hazard with three goals and an assist compared to a single goal for Chelsea’s Belgian starter.
That shows Piazon’s understanding of when to make runs forward from the midfield has improved, he’s also making the right decisions in the opponent’s final third with simple and precise finishes.
Where Hazard does excel is with his passing as he holds a superior passing success rate over the Brazilian.
Hazard is completing 81.6% of passes this season in league football which is higher than Piazon’s 77.7%.
Hazard is also making six more passes per game on average than Piazon and is producing more successful long balls.
Interestingly, Piazon appears to be more productive than Hazard in a defensive sense, which will alert Jose Mourinho who has called on his midfielders to add more to their game.
Piazon is making 2.1 successful tackles per game at Vitesse which is higher than Hazard’s 1.6. He’s also showing a greater ability to read the play before stepping in to intercept the ball.
One of the only areas Hazard has an advantage over Piazon defensively is clearances, as he’s making 0.6 more clearances on average.
The pair match up well in several attacking areas with the differences once again quite slim.
Piazon is making 1.1 more key passes per game than Hazard but the Belgian excels in terms of shots per game, number of fouls drawn and he’s dispossessed less frequently during matches, losing the ball one time less than Piazon per match.
Piazon is giving himself every chance of going back to Chelsea at the end of the season and giving Mourinho no need to go and buy further midfield reinforcements but in an attacking sense, Hazard is still the better option.
image: © Ben Sutherland