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.

Martin Odegaard had offers to join Liverpool or Ajax for this season, according to Leonid Slutsky.

Norway international Odegaard joined Real Sociedad on loan from Real Madrid back in July and has impressed for a side sitting fourth in LaLiga. 

The highly rated midfielder signed for Madrid in 2015 but has played just 32 minutes for them in LaLiga, spending the majority of his time away from the club on loan deals.

Last year he played for Slutsky at Eredivisie side Vitesse and his former boss has revealed Premier League giants Liverpool were among those who missed out when Odegaard decided his next move.

"His time at Vitesse has been important to him," Slutsky told EFE.

"He was one of the best players in the Eredivisie and had many offers. Not only from Real Sociedad, but also from Liverpool and Ajax.

"It is an honour to have had a share in the growth of Martin.

"He was in the gym every day and was very careful about his nutrition. He is a super professional, almost a robot. Martin is one of the best professionals I have seen in my life."

Odegaard, now 21, is being tipped to finally break into the Madrid team when he returns to Los Blancos.

"I'm sure Odegaard is ready to play for Real Madrid," Slutsky added.

"He already plays at the highest level and if Real gives him the chance, Martin will win a starting place."

Vitesse have confirmed the signing of former Japan international Keisuke Honda on a short-team contract until the end of the season.

Honda had been without a club since leaving Melbourne Victory, the 33-year-old pleading with Manchester United and former club AC Milan to sign him in September.

However, he has now returned to the Eredivisie - pending the confirmation of a work permit - where he previously spent a season with VVV-Venlo.

Vitesse announced the news on their official website and Honda said: "It has been a while since I played soccer in the Netherlands. 

"Hopefully the football fans in the Netherlands still remember me. Anyway, I will do everything to impress. I want to be important for the team and look forward to playing in the stadium and for the fans."

Honda has previously worked with Vitesse boss Leonid Slutsky at CSKA Moscow.

Proposals for a joint league featuring elite clubs from Netherlands and Belgium have reached a second stage.

The concept has been mooted for a number of years but has now moved a step closer, with a select group of teams from Eredivisie and the Belgian First Division being asked to give their views.

Consultancy firm Deloitte was hired to explore the possibility of a combined league, which would be known as 'BeNeLiga'.

The five top clubs from Belgium (Gent, Club Brugge, Genk, Anderlecht and Standard Liege) met the top six from Netherlands (Ajax, AZ, Utrecht, Feyenoord, PSV and Vitesse) earlier this year, and Dutch football governing body KNVB has confirmed talks were successful enough to continue with the exploration.

A statement on KNVB's official website read: "The clubs involved decided in a first phase to conduct a feasibility study into the theoretical added value of a BeNeLiga.

"This study is also facilitated by the national associations (KNVB and KBVB) for the sake of the broader football interest. That research has since been carried out by Deloitte.

"The results of the first phase confirm that the new BeNeLiga has a potential significant value increase."

The next phase of the investigation will look at a possible format and the impact a new joint league will have on Dutch and Belgian teams.

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