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Chelsea finally sell longest-serving player after 3 appearances in almost a decade

FOOTBALL By Mirror | January 15th 2021
Chelsea's longest-serving player Lucas Piazon in action [Courtesy]

Chelsea have finally sold their longest-serving player Lucas Piazon after seven loan spells and three appearances in nine years.

The Brazilian winger has completed a permanent switch to Portuguese club Braga a decade after arriving at Stamford Bridge.

Piazon, 26, was signed from Sao Paolo B for £6.75million in January 2012, after reportedly turning down Juventus.

At the time, Chelsea were being managed by Andre Villas-Boas, and have had seven different bosses since.

Piazon had been named Chelsea's young player of the year in 2012 after helping the club win the FA Youth Cup, but ultimately failed to make the breakthrough.

The Blues shipped him out on loan just a year after his move to London aged 18, during which time he had made all three of his senior appearances for the Premier League club.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - January 3, 2021 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard [Reuters, Andy Rain]

He made his Chelsea debut in a League Cup hammering of Wolves in September 2012, before featuring in the win on penalties over Man Utd in the next round.

His Premier League bow followed as a substitute in the 8-0 thrashing of Aston Villa before Christmas, where he set up Ramires for Chelsea's fifth.

That proved to be his last game for Chelsea's first-team, as he embarked on the first of his seven loans, starting at La Liga side Malaga.

Spells followed at Chelsea's Belgian feeder club Vitesse Arnhem, German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, Reading, Fulham (two seasons), Italian Serie B outfit Chievo, and an 18-month stint at Portuguese club Rio Ave.

Speaking about his future back in 2019, having just signed a contract extension at Chelsea, Piazon said: "I'm tired of playing here and there, I need a place where I can feel at home.

"I want to know that in July I will return to the same place, to the same house.

"I'd have a good season on loan, but I'd come back and was soon loaned again.

"There comes a time in your career that makes no sense anymore."

He has now put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year deal at Braga, who are currently fourth in the Primeira Liga and managed by ex-Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal.

A statement on the Chelsea website read: "We would like to wish Lucas the best of luck for the rest of his career and thank him for his service."

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