After nine and a half years, three first-team appearances and loan spells at seven different clubs, Lucas Piazon's time at Chelsea has finally come to an end.

Piazon, 26, on Thursday put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half-year contract with Primeira Liga side Braga, whose coach Carlos Carvalhal he played under at Rio Ave last season.

His name has been linked to Chelsea for so long, since signing as a promising 17-year-old in 2011, but few fans could tell you what he has done during his career.

With the help of Opta data, we look back at Piazon's loan spells to analyse an unusual career that finally appears set for some normality.

MALAGA

Piazon's first loan switch saw him head to Malaga in January 2013 and he began well, setting up two goals across his first three starts. However, he only started one more game and did not register another goal involvement.

VITESSE

Things ramped up a few gears the next season at Vitesse, where Piazon found the back of the net 11 times in his first 1,331 minutes for Vitesse. He scored or assisted a goal every 73 minutes before the mid-season break but did not have a single goal involvement in 727 minutes across the second half of the season as they slipped from second – level on points with leaders Ajax – to a sixth-place finish.

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT

Piazon spent the 2014-15 season with Frankfurt and only scored twice, though one was an incredible free-kick winner against Hamburg, across 22 appearances and 11 starts in the Bundesliga. However, he created 1.7 chances per 90 minutes in Germany's top flight, second only to Takashi Inui (2.3) among Frankfurt players.

READING

A return to England followed and the first of three years in the Championship. Piazon had three goals and two assists in 23 league appearances for Reading. Among players to feature for the club at least 10 times, he ranked second for passing accuracy (84.3 per cent) and fifth for chances created per 90 (1.9).

FULHAM

Piazon spent the next two seasons down the road from Stamford Bridge at Craven Cottage. In his first season with Fulham he had 2.2 chances created per 90 minutes, behind only Tom Cairney (2.7) and Stefan Johansen (2.3) among players to feature at least 10 times.

In 2017-18 he scored five goals and four assists as the Cottagers secured promotion to the top flight. His 18 goal involvements (10 goals, eight assists) across his two seasons with Fulham was the fifth most for the club during that time frame.

CHIEVO

A first venture in Serie A followed in the second half of 2018-19, but Piazon only played 81 minutes across four appearances for Chievo. He created one chance and hit the target with his only shot.

RIO AVE

Piazon became an important squad player during an 18-month loan at Rio Ave, contributing two goals and an assist as they qualified for the preliminary stages of the Europa League by finishing fifth in the 2019-20 Primeira Liga. His two goals from seven shots (including blocks) in the top flight this season gave him a team-high conversion rate of 28.57. Among Primeira Liga players to have taken at least as many shots as Piazon this season, only five have a better conversion rate.

Eintracht Frankfurt hope returning to familiar surroundings can help Luka Jovic rediscover his best form after the striker completed his loan move from Real Madrid. 

The Serbia international has rejoined the Bundesliga club for the remainder of the season, having made just five appearances for Madrid in all competitions this term. 

Jovic started only four LaLiga games in the previous campaign, having moved to Spain in a €60million transfer off the back of a hugely productive 2018-19 that saw him finish with 27 goals. 

Eintracht are hopeful the 23-year-old can now "get back on track" in Germany, with the temporary switch suiting all parties involved.

"Luka didn't have an easy time in Madrid recently. It is important for him to get back on track. It was his great wish to return to Eintracht," said Eintracht sporting director Fredi Bobic. 

"Luka can use the next few months to find his way back to old strength in a familiar environment.  

"Real Madrid know that he is in good hands with us and that he can develop here. And it is clear to us that we have another excellent option to play up front."

Jovic – who scored just two goals for Madrid following his big-money move – will not have to serve a quarantine period having already had COVID-19, as confirmed by Frankfurt's health department. 

His previous stint with Eintracht saw him lift the DFB-Pokal in 2018, while they made the semi-finals of the Europa League the following year, their impressive run in the competition ended by eventual winners Chelsea on penalties. 

Real Madrid outcast Luka Jovic is poised to re-join Eintracht Frankfurt on loan until the end of the season, the German club's sporting director Fredi Bobic has revealed.

Jovic swapped Eintracht for Madrid in a €60million transfer ahead of the 2019-20 season, but the Serbia forward has endured a turbulent period under Zinedine Zidane with the LaLiga champions.

The 23-year-old – who managed just two goals in 25 appearances in his first season in the Spanish capital – has only featured in 149 minutes of LaLiga action this term, while he has played in just five matches across all competitions amid ongoing form and fitness issues.

But Jovic is set for a reunion with Bundesliga side Eintracht, for whom he scored 27 goals in 2018-19 before leaving for the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Luka Jovic is on the verge of a loan to us until the summer," Bobic told Sky prior to Tuesday's 4-1 DFB-Pokal loss to 10-man Bayer Leverkusen.

"We still need to sort out a few things – the medical for example.

"If everything comes together, he'll soon be back with us."

Jovic played a key role in Eintracht's remarkable 2018-19 campaign as the German club reached the Europa League semi-finals, after initially being shipped to Deutsche Bank Park in 2017 on a two-year loan deal from Portuguese powerhouse Benfica.

After scoring nine goals in his first season with Eintracht as the team celebrated DFB-Pokal glory, Bobic eventually triggered a purchase option reportedly worth €6m in 2019 to sign Jovic before making a significant profit on that investment.

On the possibility of Jovic returning to Eintracht on a permanent basis, Bobic added: "We will see next summer. We can still think about everything what will happen in the summer."

What does the future hold for Phil Foden?

Foden is highly rated at Manchester City, but he is struggling for regular game time.

Could Real Madrid prise the Englishman to the Santiago Bernabeu?

 

TOP STORY – LOS BLANCOS EYE FODEN

LaLiga champions Real Madrid are ready to pounce for Manchester City's Phil Foden, according to the Mirror.

City sensation Foden has been struggling for regular game time under manager Pep Guardiola, starting just five of his 10 Premier League appearances this season.

Madrid have emerged as serious suitors for the 20-year-old sensation and there is a growing belief that he could be prised to the Spanish capital.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Julian Brandt, reports The Athletic. Out of favour at Dortmund this season, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly keen to reinforce his struggling side in January.

Manchester United could send Donny van de Beek to Inter on loan as they look to bring in Christian Eriksen from the Serie A side, claims Calciomercato. Eriksen is set to leave Inter in January and the Danish midfielder has been linked to Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

- As question marks grow over Samir Handanovic, Calciomercato says Inter are considering Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso as a successor to the long-serving Nerazzurri star.

Madrid are confident of re-signing veteran star Luka Modric, according to Fabrizio Romano. It comes as Madrid still try to negotiate a new contract with captain and soon-to-be free agent Sergio Ramos, who has been linked to the likes of Juventus, PSG, United and City. Modric has previously been a target for Inter and Milan.

Luka Jovic would not be against a return to Eintracht Frankfurt but the out-of-favour Madrid forward is eyeing Milan, reports Calciomercato.

DFB-Pokal holders Bayern Munich have been drawn against Holstein Kiel in the second round of the competition, while Borussia Dortmund will take on Eintracht Braunschweig.

Bayern have lifted Germany's top domestic cup in back-to-back campaigns and beat Duren in round one thanks to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's debut double.

Hansi Flick's side now face a trip to Holstein, who are fifth in 2.Bundesliga and are seeking a first promotion to the top tier in their history.

Fellow big boys Dortmund will also take on second-tier opposition in the form of Braunschweig, who knocked out Hertha Berlin 5-4 in a thrilling first-round fixture.

Arguably the tie of the round is the all-Bundesliga affair between Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt.

The ties will take place in the week commencing December 21.


DFB-Pokal second-round draw in full:

Wolfsburg v Sandhausen
Hoffenheim v Greuther Furth
Augsburg v RB Leipzig
Holstein Kiel v Bayern Munich
Mainz v Bochum
Cologne v Osnabruck
Hannover v Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Braunschweig v Borussia Dortmund
Stuttgart v Freiburg
Union Berlin v Paderborn
Dynamo Dresden v Darmstadt
Wehen Wiesbaden v Jahn Regensburg
Elversberg v Borussia Monchengladbach
Essen v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Ulm v Schalke

Robert Lewandowski vowed to keep targeting the quick kills as his hat-trick helped Bayern Munich crush Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski, who scored 34 goals in 31 league games last season, already has 10 in five matches this time around – the most by any player in the history of the competition at this early stage.

He had Bayern two clear in just 26 minutes, with a classy left-footed finish followed by a superb header, and there was little doubt from that point that Hansi Flick's side would take maximum points.

Lewandowski completed his hat-trick in the second half before two substitutes, Leroy Sane and 17-year-old Jamal Musiala, put the finishing touches to the rout.

"We always want to show the best football. When we have a chance of winning like today, we try to decide it early," Lewandowski said.

"After the 3-0 win it was decided, then we were able to go down the gears a bit in the last 30 minutes."

He shrugged off the attention on his own performance and said Bayern, with Bundesliga and Champions League targets, need to avoid over-working themselves.

"The statistics are not that important to me, I am focused on the team and the game," Lewandowski said. "In the current time, with a game every three days, you also have to be careful. We have an enormous number of games by the end of the year."

Flick said the victory was all the more special because it came in the wake of a Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid.

He made four changes from the side that beat Atletico 4-0 and used five substitutions, testing the depth of his squad and finding it met his needs.

"Victories in the Champions League are all the more beautiful when you win in the Bundesliga afterwards," Flick said, quoted on Bayern's website.

"We have to measure the stakes and take the players out earlier so that they don't always have to go 90 minutes."

Lewandowski only had five shots, but four hit the target and three beat Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who had little chance with any of the goals.

Trapp said: "Lewandowski didn't need a lot of chances today and scored three goals. Still, I thought we did pretty well, at least in the first half.

"In the end, you have to say that they played well and deserved to win. Lewandowski is definitely one of the best in the world."

Bayern did however suffer a blow with the loss of Alphonso Davies to an ankle ligament injury.

The Canada international appeared to stumble on the pitch, going down awkwardly, and was substituted inside the opening five minutes, a miserable moment for the teenager who faces six to eight weeks on the sidelines, according to Flick's early understanding.

Davies made 29 Bundesliga appearances last term, with Bayern winning 23 of those matches, scoring 87 goals; the versatile wideman netted three times, providing five assists and creating 37 chances.

Bayern Munich expect Alphonso Davies to be out for up to eight weeks after the full-back damaged ankle ligaments against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Davies was substituted after three minutes of Saturday's 5-0 Bundesliga victory at the Allianz Arena after rolling his ankle.

Head coach Hansi Flick said the 19-year-old has torn ligaments and is not expected to return until at least early December.

"He sustained a ligament injury. One ligament is fully torn, another is partially torn. We reckon he'll be sidelined for six to eight weeks," Flick told reporters.

"It hurts when a player of this quality is ruled out."

Davies is likely to miss most of Bayern's remaining matches in 2020, including their five remaining Champions League group games and the Klassiker with Borussia Dortmund on November 7.

The champions' win over Frankfurt, in which Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick before further goals from Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala, moved them to within a point of league leaders RB Leipzig after five games.

Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick before Leroy Sane struck the goal of the game as Bayern Munich thumped Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the Bundesliga.

In the latest instalment of his one-sided battle with defenders in the German top flight, it was a familiar story as Lewandowski came out on top, taking his haul to a startling 10 goals in five matches this season.

That is a Bundesliga record for this stage of the season, and last season's haul of 34 goals must already be in his sights after a perfect hat-trick.

Three days after Bayern beat Atletico Madrid 4-0 in the Champions League - a match in which Lewandowski left the scoring to others - the German champions were again irresistible at their Allianz Arena home. There was even a goal for 17-year-old substitute Jamal Musiala in the closing moments, to cap a fine team performance.

Lewandowski gave Bayern a 10th-minute lead, collecting a neat pass from the marauding Kingsley Coman and firing left-footed, low into the bottom right corner.

Although Eintracht had their moments, Bayern had Lewandowski. It was 2-0 in the 26th minute with the Poland striker again the scorer, this time producing a deft header from a right-wing corner, connecting near the penalty spot and sending the ball inside the left post.

He could not capitalise on chances to make it a first-half treble but the hat-trick was complete after an hour.

Douglas Costa's throughball was taken neatly in his stride by Lewandowski and, as two defenders converged, he found just enough time to adjust his feet and send a low shot wide of Kevin Trapp and into the right corner.

Bayern suffered an early setback when Alphonso Davies went down off the ball, clutching his ankle. His replacement, Lucas Hernandez, should have made it 4-0 but shot wastefully over from close range after being picked out by Coman.

The fourth soon came though and it was a super strike from Sane, cutting in from the right and curling an unstoppable 25-yard shot past Trapp. Musiala bundled the fifth with the last kick of the match.

What does it mean?

Eintracht were on an eight-match unbeaten run heading into this game, including their opening four of this Bundesliga campaign. But against the might of Bayern they were reduced to cannon fodder.

Bayern’s defeat to Hoffenheim four weeks ago could look terribly anomalous this season, because this was another performance that suggested it will be a procession to the title for Hansi Flick’s team.

Lethal Lewy

Five shots, four on target, three goals. Lewandowski makes goalscoring look terribly easy at times. Each finish was immaculate, and on this form, Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals in a Bundesliga season will come under threat. He only had 31 touches in the entire game, but he is the man with the golden touch.

The defence rests

Eintracht’s back three simply were incapable of getting near enough to the man they knew they had to keep under wraps. Makoto Hasebe, at the heart of the backline, made just two tackles all day, and the way Lewandowski took a mile whenever he was given an inch reflected badly on the defensive unit.

Generous defending is hardly a new phenomenon in this fixture: Bayern had won each of their previous 12 competitive home games against Frankfurt, and by an aggregate 40-7 scoreline.

What's next?

Bayern are back on Champions League duty as they face Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday. Eintracht will welcome Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga next Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick before Leroy Sane struck the goal of the game as Bayern Munich thumped Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the Bundesliga.

In the latest instalment of his one-sided battle with defenders in the German top flight, it was a familiar story as Lewandowski came out on top, taking his haul to a startling 10 goals in five matches this season.

That is a Bundesliga record for this stage of the season, and last season's haul of 34 goals must already be in his sights after a perfect hat-trick.

Three days after Bayern beat Atletico Madrid 4-0 in the Champions League - a match in which Lewandowski left the scoring to others - the German champions were again irresistible at their Allianz Arena home. There was even a goal for 17-year-old substitute Jamal Musiala in the closing moments, to cap a fine team performance.

Lewandowski gave Bayern a 10th-minute lead, collecting a neat pass from the marauding Kingsley Coman and firing left-footed, low into the bottom right corner.

Although Eintracht had their moments, Bayern had Lewandowski. It was 2-0 in the 26th minute with the Poland striker again the scorer, this time producing a deft header from a right-wing corner, connecting near the penalty spot and sending the ball inside the left post.

He could not capitalise on chances to make it a first-half treble but the hat-trick was complete after an hour.

Douglas Costa's throughball was taken neatly in his stride by Lewandowski and, as two defenders converged, he found just enough time to adjust his feet and send a low shot wide of Kevin Trapp and into the right corner.

Bayern suffered an early setback when Alphonso Davies went down off the ball, clutching his ankle. His replacement, Lucas Hernandez, should have made it 4-0 but shot wastefully over from close range after being picked out by Coman.

The fourth soon came though and it was a super strike from Sane, cutting in from the right and curling an unstoppable 25-yard shot past Trapp. Musiala bundled the fifth with the last kick of the match.

Robert Lewandowski set a new Bundesliga record with a hat-trick in Bayern Munich's 5-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

The Poland star struck three times in the first hour at the Allianz Arena to take his tally for the season to 10 goals in just five matches in 2020-21.

No player has ever scored as many goals in the first five games of a Bundesliga season.

Lewandowski's latest feat came just a week after he completed a Bundesliga set against Arminia Bielefeld.

The 32-year-old's goal in the 4-1 win meant he had scored against each of the current 18 teams in the Bundesliga, including Bayern.

Lewandowski scored 55 times in all competitions last season – at least 16 more than any other player in Europe's top-five leagues – as Bayern won the treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League trophies.

Leroy Sane could make his return from injury when Bayern Munich face Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend, Hansi Flick has confirmed.

Germany winger Sane has made just three appearances for Bayern since arriving from Manchester City in July in a deal potentially worth €60million.

The 24-year-old has been sidelined since being forced off in the second half of the 4-1 defeat to Hoffenheim on September 27 having suffered a right knee injury.

While Sane returned to team training on Thursday and is available for selection, Serge Gnabry will sit out Saturday's game at the Allianz Arena following his positive coronavirus test.

"Everyone is fit. Leroy Sane is in the squad. We are on the right track," said Flick on Friday.

"We're not planning to start him; we have to go step by step. We have to wait for the game, but he is an option. We are happy about it.

"Serge Gnabry will be out at the weekend. We have to wait and see [when he can return]. We are focused on Frankfurt with the players who are available to us."

Flick will be forced into a change in midfield with Corentin Tolisso suspended due to his red card in last weekend's 4-1 victory over Arminia Bielefeld.

In four Bundesliga appearances this season, Tolisso has already had as many shots on target (three) as he managed in 13 league outings last term. The France international is also averaging four more duels (up to 13 from nine) and duels won (up to eight from four) per 90 minutes than he did in 2019-20.

"You can feel that he's enjoying his football," said Flick. "Last season, he had problems with injuries and then didn't play too much.

"We sat down at the end of last season and talked. How he's playing now is how he played for Lyon. A weight has fallen off his shoulders; he's enjoying football.

"I'm glad he scored the goal; it gives him confidence. He has quality and good results shooting from long distance, but also in the box. He's also very strong."

Frankfurt are unbeaten in their past eight Bundesliga games, avoiding defeat in their opening four matches in a season for the first time since 2012-13.

However, Adi Hutter's side have lost each of their past 12 competitive away matches against Bayern, conceding 40 goals and scoring just seven.

Bayern Munich's next three home games, including their Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, will be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus.

Cases of COVID-19 have spiked in Munich recently, with 4,058 recorded on October 8 up from 2,503 a week earlier.

Bayern confirmed on Friday that, as per a ruling from the city's authorities, no fans will be able to attend games at the Allianz Arena until October 25.

The DFB-Pokal match against Duren Merzenich, the Champions League clash with Atletico and the Bundesliga game at home to Eintracht Frankfurt will all be affected.

Bayern expect that the next home match fans can attend will be against Werder Bremen on November 21.

The 2020-21 Bundesliga season started with home fans allowed to be at matches but only up to a stadium capacity of 20 per cent.

However, the German Football League (DFL) regulations said games would have to be behind closed doors in a city if the seven-day infection rate surpassed 35 per 100,000 people.

Bayern, who won the treble in 2019-20, started the new season with an 8-0 demolition of Schalke.

They then beat Sevilla 2-1 after extra time in the UEFA Super Cup before a surprise 4-1 league loss away to Hoffenheim.

Hansi Flick's side then defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in the DFL-Supercup and won 4-3 against Hertha Berlin prior to the international break.

Real Madrid and Liverpool reportedly lead the race for Kylian Mbappe if the France star decides to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe, 21, is contracted at PSG until 2022, making his future a talking point heading into next year.

It seems the France international's future lies at one of three clubs.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID, LIVERPOOL LEAD RACE FOR MBAPPE

Mbappe's future will be decided next year and the forward will be at PSG, Real Madrid or Liverpool, according to L'Equipe.

The World Cup winner has been heavily linked with Zinedine Zidane's Madrid previously, while Jurgen Klopp's Premier League champions have also reportedly been interested in the past.

The report says Liverpool and Madrid are in regular contact with Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luis Suarez is set for a Barcelona exit, but the forward's next club remains unclear. Sport reports Suarez has an agreement with Atletico Madrid, apparently for two seasons, but Barca are said to be intending to block him joining a direct rival for free.

- Manchester United could strengthen as soon as this week. The Guardian reports Porto left-back Alex Telles hopes to seal a move to United this week and it says the Premier League club are hoping to get the 27-year-old's price down to £23mllion (€25m).

- With Kepa Arrizabalaga again coming under fire, Chelsea are set to welcome a new goalkeeper. RMC Sport reports the Premier League club have finalised a deal worth £22million (€24m), plus £5.5m (€6m) in bonuses, with Rennes for Edouard Mendy.

- Staying at Chelsea and N'Golo Kante is reportedly wanted by Inter. Corriere dello Sport reports Inter coach Antonio Conte wants the midfielder, but a €50million (£45.9m) asking price is unthinkable for the Serie A club unless Christian Eriksen or Marcelo Brozovic are sold.

- There could also be movement at Real Madrid. EFE reports Luka Jovic is pushing for a return to Eintracht Frankfurt on loan after struggling in his first season with the LaLiga giants. Meanwhile, Marca says former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has been offered to Madrid.

- While Suarez may arrive, Atletico Madrid are also considering their transfer options. AS reports they are waiting for offers for Diego Costa, while Marca says the LaLiga club need to see a player leave before potentially signing Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira.

Ante Rebic has completed a permanent move to Milan from Eintracht Frankfurt, signing a five-year contract.

The Croatia international impressed on loan with the Rossoneri last season, scoring 12 goals in 30 appearances to finish as their top goalscorer.

Excluding penalties, only Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo (12) has scored more goals in Serie A in 2020 than Rebic (11).

With Andre Silva having secured a permanent switch to Frankfurt for a reported €9million, Milan are said to have signed Rebic for effectively no transfer fee.

The 26-year-old made 100 competitive appearances for Eintracht, scoring 25 goals and providing 12 assists, before moving to Milan on an initial two-year loan last September.

Sporting director Fredi Bobic said via the club's website: "Our fans will always remember Ante, not only because of his outstanding performance in the 2018 DFB-Pokal final [when he was man of the match in a 3-1 win over Bayern Munich].

"We wish Ante all the best for the future. He will always be a welcome guest in Frankfurt."

Andre Silva has completed a permanent move from Milan to Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Portugal striker spent last season on loan with the Bundesliga club, scoring 16 goals in all competitions.

The 24-year-old has now signed a three-year deal with Frankfurt, much to the delight of sporting director Fredi Bobic.

"Over the last few months we've seen what Andre's capable of," he said via the club's website.

"It was no accident that he was the second-best striker in the Bundesliga after the restart. He's a young and flexible attacker and, at 24, he's still got potential to improve.

"We're confident we can take him to another level here in Frankfurt and we're delighted to have tied a superb striker to the club until summer 2023."

Silva joined Milan from Porto for an initial €38million in June 2017, but he only made eight starts in Serie A for the Rossoneri.

He spent 2018-19 on loan at Sevilla, scoring nine times in 27 LaLiga appearances.

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