On Chelsea’s pre-season tour last summer – as they travelled around Asia – it appeared that Deco was to be the man to provide the art that the team lacked. He was to be their pass master. Adding the missing brushstrokes; that extra colour.

 Back in the game: Deco is looking to rejuvenate Chelsea career  Photo: AP

Back in the game: Deco is looking to rejuvenate Chelsea career Photo: AP

Deco seemed rejuvenated, after being left jaded and disillusioned as he was pushed out by Barcelona, and also relieved to be managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari, the coach who had promoted him into the Portuguese national team. At £8 million it was hoped that Chelsea had gained a creative bargain to add an extra dimension.

It didn’t work. The early season promise faded, badly, while injuries also took their toll. Deco was marginalised and wanted out of the club when the campaign ended. It appeared that another of his former managers, Jose Mourinho, who had helped Deco make his name at Porto, where the pair had won the European Cup, would offer him an escape route. But a deal for him, and fellow Portuguese international Ricardo Carvalho, has stalled. The latter has been told he has to now stay at Chelsea and the former says, however reluctantly, he wants to do so also.

“I’ll be here. I have a contract,” Deco said on what he hoped would happen before the season starts. “I talked with the manager [Carlo Ancelotti] of course when he arrived. We talked a lot about things, about the game, about what he was thinking about the team, the tactics. Like I said, I will be here and I will do my best.

“The important thing is for me to start well and keep at the same level and play well all season, not just at the beginning like last season. And don’t have the injuries. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Last season – he declares it the worse of his career – was, indeed, marred by injury for the midfielder, who is 32 next month, and who has had a history of problems in recent campaigns.

“The last season was difficult for me. I had many injuries. I played a few games. I didn’t like last season. I hope this season will be different. I’m happy to play. Every player needs to play and wants to play. I hope this season I don’t have the injuries and can play the way I know.”