As Chelsea continue to scour the market for any usable yet not overpriced wing-backs to either upgrade or at least improve the depth of the squad — hello, Jeremy Toljan? — we continue to operate with just two recognized wing-backs, one of whom hadn’t even dreamed of playing the position and the other wasn’t even a Chelsea player at this time last year. Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso both ended up playing key roles in Chelsea’s title triumph, but they can’t again be expected to carry the load all by themselves in arguably the two most important positions in the 3-4-3 tactical setup.
We saw against Bayern just how taxing the work down the flanks can be, with Marcos Alonso giving it his all and still having to call it quits after 75 minutes. But without Kenedy (or Pedro) in the squad, it was Victor Moses who had deputize, switching sides from right to left and putting his past experience as a two-sided winger to use once again.
"The manager told me to go left wing-back and I can play left-wing-back if needed, especially in a pre-season game. When I was a winger in the past I played on the right and on the left so it is not a problem."
-Victor Moses; source: Chelsea FC
Since that experiment, Chelsea have added left wing-back Cristián Cuevas, who had been hanging out at Cobham with the rest of the Development Squad, to the traveling squad in Singapore so Moses’s brief dalliance with the left side is probably over (for now).
Covering for Moses on the right all pre-season has been young Fikayo Tomori, taking the role that won a place in the squad for Ola Aina last summer. Tomori was a versatile defender while in the youth system, though he came up mostly as a center back and wing-back is certainly new for him. But he’s ready to play wherever if that means first-team minutes of course.
“I’ve never actually played right wing-back before but I played right-back quite a lot in my earlier years. The manager has made me aware of what’s required in the role; where to be, where to run and where to pass the ball, which has made it a lot easier for me. I’m enjoying it and hopefully whenever I get a chance I can make an impression.”
“If I get my chance I just have to play as well as I can and do what the manager asks of me. I’m on a pre-season tour, I just want to enjoy it and do the best I can.”
-Fikayo Tomori; source: Chelsea FC
Chelsea have one more game on the pre-season schedule before the Community Shield in ten days time and then the start of the season the week after that. A bit of time for Tomori to win an unlikely place in the squad instead of going out on loan then.