Chelsea winger/wing-back Victor Moses shocked everybody when he decided to retire from international duty after the 2018 World Cup. Citing family and career concerns, the 27-year-old hung up his international boots in the summer, after just 37 caps for Nigeria.
Perhaps he had an inkling that he was in for a serious fight for minutes at Chelsea, with Maurizio Sarri coming in and making his wing-back position obsolete overnight. Moses had reinvented himself to great effect as Antonio Conte’s right wing-back and played a key role in both the Premier League title and the FA Cup Trophy won in those two seasons, but Sarri’s system does not rely on wing-backs and Moses suddenly found himself without a starting position and way down the pecking order at winger.
Unfortunately for him, the added focus on club football has not made much difference. He’s made just one start all season (in the League Cup), adding five substitute appearances. He’s not even been named in the matchday squad for 10 of Chelsea’s 18 competitive games so far, including five in a row in the Premier League. Unsurprisingly, he’s expected to be leaving in January, either on loan or permanently.
Despite not playing however, he remains one of the best Nigerian players in world football, and thus the Super Eagles are hoping to convince him to reverse his retirement, after sorting out his club football situation of course.
“We plan to visit him very soon and have another chat with him. He is part of us, everybody knows that he is a brilliant player, he can play anywhere. ’He is not playing because he is a bad player, he is not playing because the tactics the team are adopting does not suit him. In the old system they were playing, Moses was indispensable, now another coach has come with another system.”
’’Hopefully by January he’ll get himself sorted, we still need him.’’
-Shehu Dikko, NFF VP; source: All Nigeria Soccer
With one aye on the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations — now played in June-July rather than January-February! — the Super Eagles will be hoping that Moses’s career takes flight once again, both at club and at international level.