Chelsea attacking midfielder Oscar will not be a part of Brazil’s Copa America squad this summer thanks to an unspecified injury that has kept him out of recent Premier League action and threatens to end his season and beyond.
Brazilian manager Dunga said that after speaking with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, he has left Oscar out of his Copa America squad after learning of a recent training ground injury.
The 23-year-old has not appeared since being removed at halftime against Arsenal with concussion-like symptoms following a crunching collision with Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina. He was an unused substitute two weeks ago against Leicester City and was left out of the squad against Crystal Palace this past weekend as Chelsea clinched the Premier League title.
“We spoke with Mourinho and the doctor at Chelsea and his recuperation will take time and he won’t be at his best during the Copa America,” Dunga told the media. “After the Copa America we have the World Cup qualifiers, and we thought it best for him to be ready for the qualifiers.”
It’s unclear what the nature of the injury is, or if it will sideline him for the rest of the Premier League season. If Oscar’s injury is concussion related and will keep him out for this extended period of time, it casts serious black clouds over the training staff’s handling of his head injury immediately following his collision with Ospina, leaving him on the field for a half-hour before his eventual removal at halftime. Dunga did say his injury was picked up in training, which would seem to eliminate his concussion from the cause, but that could be misinformation from Chelsea to diffuse negative attention.
Brazil’s opening match in the tournament is June 14 against Peru, and the tournament will run through the finals on July 4. Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers are during the early October international window after the upcoming Premier League season is two months old.
Oscar will be a major loss for Brazil, with his pace and tenacity leading to six goals and eight assists in Premier League play this season, and has created 36 chances according to Squawka Statistics. The man to replace Oscar is Philippe Coutinho, a star component of Liverpool’s season. Oscar’s Chelsea teammate Willian made the roster, as did his former teammate in David Luiz. Another man who misses out is Zenit St. Petersburg striker Hulk, who has underperformed in his recent stints with the national team. Here is the full squad:
Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Diego Alves (Valencia), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio).
Defenders: Fabinho (Monaco), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Chelsea), Danilo (Porto), David Luiz (PSG), Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG), Miranda (Atletico Madrid).
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Elias (Corinthians), Casemiro (Porto)
Forwards: Everton Ribeiro (Al-Ahli), Douglas Costa (Shakhtar Donetsk), Willian (Chelsea), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Robinho (Santos), Neymar (Barcelona), Diego Tardelli (Shandong Luneng), Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim).