Victor Moses to take a bigger step in 2017-18

In 2010 Victor Moses moved from Crystal Palace to Wigan, where he began to craft a reputable name for himself in the English Premier League. Subsequently, Chelsea came calling and Moses was on the move to what he expected to be some title winning football, however, it led to an out of control roller coaster through Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United. Finally, the ride returned to Chelsea, and Victor Moses has moved into the front cart this time around. 

Although Chelsea were defeated by Arsenal in the Community Shield, Moses proved his worth with another goal and a performance groomed by the faith put in him by Antonio Conte. Besides the opener, Moses was a constant nuisance to Arsenal, whether it be through his repetitive and direct dribbling or his ability to step in at the right moment to break up a play. The Nigerian was also quite handy when the Blues got themselves into a pickle, as he cleared the ball to safety several times. Conte appreciates little things like that, and it is evident Moses thrives off his manager’s belief.

In fact, this is one of the best examples of an annual improvement in some time.

Moses has stretched out his legs since returning to Chelsea in 2015, and there should be no surprises if he runs faster and jumps higher for the Blues throughout 2017-18. After those lacklustre spells away from Stamford Bridge, Moses’ improvement has been impressive to say the least:

2015: 

  • 21 appearances
  • 22 total shots
  • 1 goal
  • 16 shot assists
  • 2 goal assists
  • 80% pass accuracy
  • 50% tackle success

2016:

  • 33 appearances
  • 41 total shots
  • 3 goals
  • 25 shot assists
  • 3 goal assists
  • 78% pass accuracy 
  • 85% tackle success

The bold figure is the only part of Moses’ game, that was marginally better in 2015. Everything else was an improvement, and a rather large one too.*

During his time at Wigan, Moses was the superstar. During his time with Stoke, bucket loads of pressure was poured over him, while at Liverpool he was changing swimming costumes weekly. It appears, he has settled at Stamford Bridge, and is able to play a familiar role, one that has a great deal of importance but isn’t depended on. Moses used to play as an individual, and rightly so, because he was the star. However, Conte has channelled that mindset, and turned the Nigerian into star team player.

His performance against Arsenal isn’t going to cause headlines throughout the United Kingdom, heck, we might be one of the few outlets that acknowledge it. But consider this, if Moses didn’t line up, the headlines may have told a very different story. The Gunners could have recorded a big victory, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might have had a hatrick. Moses will play a big part for Chelsea this year, especially if Conte continues sending out three defenders. It is worth seeing if he has the ability to grow even further than the last two seasons, because at this rate the sky is the limit, and we all know how attractive the wing-back position is these days.

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