Lucas Piazon

Chelsea career

Chelsea had to fight off interest from a number of the world's leading clubs in order to secure the services of the highly-rated attacking midfielder, who was born on 20 January 1994 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

He signed in August 2011 and enjoyed an impressive first season at the club at youth and reserve levels. 

Piazon played an integral role in the 2012 FA Youth Cup triumph, producing accomplished displays and scoring crucial goals along the way, including the first of four in a quarter-final turnaround at Nottingham Forest.

With his performances for the youth team catching the eye, he was given his first taste of action for the more senior reserves and made nine appearances, scoring four goals.

What had been a remarkable season for the youngster ended in the most memorable manner when, only days after enjoying the FA Youth Cup glory, he was named as the club's Young Player of the Year and collected his award from John Terry. On the final day of the season he was an unused substitute for the first team's game against Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge.

Midway through that first campaign, in January 2012, Piazon signed an extention to his original contract which will keep him at Chelsea until 2017.

He scored the first goal of the Under-21s' 2012/13 campaign, in a 5-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.

In September 2012, he was handed his first team debut against the same club in the Capital One Cup at the Bridge and enjoyed the evening with an impressive display. In what was a very one-sided game, the Blues ran out 6-0 winners, with Piazon teeing up Ryan Bertrand to make it 2-0.

He also started in the next round, a 5-4 win against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, before being replaced in the second half by Eden Hazard. Three days later he was an unused substitute for the 1-1 draw at Swansea.

Piazon made his first league appearance for the club in an 8-0 win over Aston Villa two days before Christmas 2012, and it was an eventful cameo.

With almost his first touch of the ball he slipped in Ramires to make it 5-0 and in the closing minutes of the game, he won a penalty with some neat footwork inside the penalty area. With the three points already secured, Piazon stepped up to take the resulting kick but his effort was well saved by Brad Guzan in the Villa goal.

During the January transfer window it was announced Piazon would be joining Malaga in La Liga for the remainder of the 2012/13 season. In Spain he was primarily a substitute, making four starts and coming on in nine other games including twice in the Champions League.

After joining the squad on tour in Asia at the beginning of the 2013/14 campaign, he signed for Vitesse Arnhem for the rest of the season in August, joining Chelsea team-mates Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta in Holland.

His time in the Eredivisie started well with a brace scored against PEC Zwolle, and a week later he struck the winner in a 3-2 victory against NEC.

As the Dutch League approached their winter break, Piazon was the top scorer in the Eredivisie with 11 goals.

In the second half of the season, he suffered a slight dip in form and was in and out of the side before he returned to Chelsea, but in total scored 11 goals (including three penalties) in 26+5 appearances for Vitesse.

In July 2014 it was announced he would spend the 2014/15 season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.

Though not as active in Gernany as he had been in Holland, he still racked 23 appearances, 11 of them starts. The first of his two goals was a memorable one indeed - a stunning free-kick winner right at the death against Hamburg. Eintracht finished a healthy ninth. 

In August 2015 it was announced he would spend the 2015/16 campaign on loan at Reading in the Championship.


International

Having graduated from the same Sao Paolo youth set-up that produced the likes of Kaka, Cafu and former Blue Juliano Belletti, Piazon has consistently caught the eye when turning out for Brazil's young national sides.

He finished top scorer in the South American Under-15 Championships in 2009 with 10 goals and was then named player of the tournament in another competition held at Old Trafford.

He also won a number of plaudits for his performances during the 2011 Under-17 World Cup as well as the South American Championships in which he played an instrumental role in Brazil's triumph.

In the summer of 2014 Piazon was part of the Brazil side which won the Toulon Tournament, with the youngster featuring mainly off the bench.

Piazon represented Brazil at the Pan Am Games in Canada in the summer of 2015, a tournament contested by Under-22 sides from the Americas. He scored in the third-place play-off against Panama, helping secure a bronze medal after an extra-time win.