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Keep, Sell, Loan: Victor Moses' 2016-17 season in review

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Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Appearances: 35 starts (5 as substitute).
Minutes: 2,498 in Premier League; 547 in domestic cups.
Statistics (per 90 minutes, Premier League): 36.21 passes attempted (79% completed); 1.91 successful take ons (67.1% success rate); 1.44 tackles won (50% success rate); 1.12% aerial duels won (35.2% successful challenges); 1.55 interceptions.

At the start of his Chelsea career back in 2012, Victor Moses was known as a speedy winger who would wreak havoc on either flank on defenders like Branislav Ivanović with exciting, inventive, powerful wing play. After his first season at the club, a season in which he scored a career high number of goals and played a key role in Chelsea winning the Europa League, he was reduced to the role of a loan warrior who never got a proper chance at the first-team despite repeatedly impressing in preseason. That all changed when Antonio Conte came into the fold.

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

For the first time in three years, Moses was actually rewarded for his preseason performances, earning his spot in the team as a backup winger before taking on a far more crucial role as a converted wing-back in Conte’s 3-4-3. His speed and ability to beat his man were now coupled with relentless running, defensive strength, and growing tactical awareness. Moses made more league appearances this season than all but one prior season in his career. His importance to team was highlighted by his rare absences, or, like in the FA Cup final against Arsenal, the occasional poor match.

His success on the pitch coupled with an amazing life story quickly made him a fan favourite. No one expected a player who spent three unremarkable years on loan at three different Premier League teams to suddenly reveal himself as such a crucial asset to the team. But that’s exactly what he did, silencing his doubters, at least for a while.

While his performances in the first half of the season were beautiful, they were not quite as good in the second half. Perhaps affected by a toe injury that eventually required surgery at the end of the season, he ended his marvelous season on a down note. However, that alone should not negate every good contribution he made during Chelsea’s climb to the Premier League title.

The Good

During our club-record 13-match winning streak in the Premier League from October to December, Moses was so instrumental and so good, he even garnered the Barcelona transfer rumor mill’s attentions. Chelsea were quick to shut down any such talk with a well deserved long-term contract extension and pay rise.

The Bad

On top of his poor performance overall, Moses earned a foolish second yellow card for diving against Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

The Best

Moses saved one of his four goals of the season for the winner against Spurs in Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge. With the game tied 1-1 early in the second half, Moses made yet another lung-bursting charge up the pitch to collect his reward.

Verdict

As one of the team’s most important players last season, his poor performance in the FA Cup final was especially disappointing. Still, that should not eviscerate his overall record for the year, though it should underline the need to bring in at least a capable back-up and challenger for the role.

The upcoming season will be one for Moses to prove that he was not merely a one-season wonder. He is another keep in our books.

Poll

What would you do with Victor Moses next season?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    Keep
    (931 votes)
  • 6%
    Sell
    (67 votes)
  • 1%
    Loan
    (15 votes)
1013 votes total Vote Now