Now he’s finally got a proper run of games for Chelsea, Victor Moses has been phenomenal. He debuted in professional football as long ago as 2007, appearing for Palace aged 16. But following that club’s financial problems in 2010, the youngster made a 2.5 million move to Wigan Athletic; and it wasn’t long before Chelsea brought him to the Prem’.
With Moses scoring on his full debut for Chelsea and managing 10 goals in that first season fans were expecting a comfortable assault on a starting shirt. That wasn’t to be the case, unfortunately. The revolving selection of wingers at the West London club, over the next few seasons, was something to behold. Florent Malouda gave way to the likes of André Schürrle, Mohamed Salah and Juan Cuadrado, all competing fiercely for starts. Victor was considered surplus to requirements and departed on a series of loans.
The same could very easily have happened this season under Antonio Conte. In Hazard, Willian and Pedro the club have some formidable wide-men, with whom the Nigerian struggles to compete. The new manager, however, arrived with the intention of re-shaping the team, introducing the 3-man backline that had been so successful in previous campaigns at Juventus. Initially, it wasn’t possible and Chelsea began the season in lacklustre fashion with 4 at the back.
Behind the scenes Conte was working hard, and soon a new back 3 was formed, made up of Gary Cahill, re-signed David Luiz and Cezar Azpilicueta transitioning from the left. To accommodate the Spaniard’s move, Conte brought Marcos Alonso in.
The right hand side proved more problematic. Branislav Ivanovic is too defensive for the formation; more importantly perhaps, he’s half the player he once was. Conte must have considered signing an established right-sided wingback but chose instead to find a player within the club who displayed the necessary qualities and mould him to the role. Cue: Victor Moses. The manager recognised his strength, pace, aggression and work-rate and ably converted the winger.
Moses has coped well defensively; new-signing N’Golo Kante and the disciplined back 3 have supported him well. Chelsea top the table for the most clean sheets. That’s allowed Moses to function well in attack, marauding forward to offer himself as a different option to midfield players and creating space for Pedro, Hazard and co. The first game in the new system saw Moses awarded Man of Match and he’s chipped in with goals and assists already, too.
Everything’s falling into place for Moses and Chelsea and, with Liverpool, City, Spurs, Arsenal and United all looking dangerous; it couldn’t have come at a better time. All of us at The Student Footballer are excited to see where this season goes!
Keep an eye on Moses’ stats here: http://www.squawka.com/players/victor-moses/stats#performance-score%23chelsea-(current)%23english-barclays-premier-league%238%23season-2016/2017%23641%23all-matches%231-11%23by-match