Chelsea midfielder Oscar is determined to prove his worth to new manager Antonio Conte after admitting to an unhappy season at the club.
The Brazil international picked up a knee problem early in August which limited his involvement during his side’s dismal Premier League title defence.
Oscar subsequently struggled to earn a regular first-team place once Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.
Speculation has mounted that Oscar could leave Stamford Bridge in the next transfer window, but the 24-year-old says he is eager to earn a spot in Conte’s plans for next season.
“It’s been very difficult for me,” he told Sky Sports News. “I had a great season last season, and I’m coming from two or three seasons of doing well, but I was one of those players who got injured at the start of the season.
“When I came back, the team wasn’t doing so well and I found myself on the bench and in and out of the first team. I didn’t achieve the level I wanted to achieve but hopefully next season I can do better.
“[The new manager’s arrival] is great for the players. Obviously you have to prove yourself. I’m sure the coach has been following all the players individually.
“It will be a breath of fresh air to the team and everyone’s excited to prove their worth to be here. Obviously I haven’t been very happy because I haven’t been playing very much but, with the new coach coming in, it’s a fresh beginning for everyone.”
Oscar also hopes to have John Terry as a team-mate next season, with the Chelsea captain looking likely to leave the club at the end of his contract in June.
“His future is down to him and Chelsea to decide what’s best. Obviously I want him to stay but it’s down to them,” he added.
“He’s a great leader and he has helped me ever since I arrived here. I like him very much but he will know what’s best for his future and whatever he decides I’ll be happy for him.”