Lucas Piazon has questioned the loan “business” favoured by Chelsea, with a man who has taken in just three appearances for the Blues in eight years of the opinion that he was only ever signed to make money.
The Brazilian winger was snapped up by the Blues as a teenager and added to their academy system.
Many before and after him have taken a similar career path, with the Stamford Bridge side stockpiling talent within their youth ranks.
Prior to Frank Lampard’s arrival as manager in the summer of 2019, few home-grown talents were given an opportunity to prove their worth on a senior stage.
Piazon falls into that category, with the 26-year-old currently taking in a loan at Rio Ave – the seventh loan spell of his stint in west London.
He has previously been sent out to Malaga, Vitesse, Eintracht Frankfurt, Reading, Fulham and Chievo, with no first-team football seen at Chelsea since December 2012.
Piazon is still tied to a contract with the Blues until 2022 but feels he has become little more than an investment opportunity for a Premier League heavyweight.
He has told Portuguese outlet Maisfutebol: “After a certain point the connection is no longer beneficial for both parties.
“At first, I felt really good. I went through the under-23s, got to the first team and, even in the first loans, I felt Chelsea had expectations and interest in me.
“I believed I could come back and have opportunities at any time.
“Later, as time passed, I became just another business for them. They send me out on loan with the expectation of selling me and making some money with me. I think that’s more or less what they think.”
Chelsea’s loan model has served them well at times, with the likes of Reece James, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori having made a breakthrough under Lampard on the back of previous stints away from Stamford Bridge.
They do, however, still have a number of players on their books that are being denied the chance to nail down a regular role.
The Blues currently have 29 players out on loan – including Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Michy Batshuayi – while deals could yet be done for the likes of Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses and Charly Musonda as they remain on the fringes of the fold.