1. REECE JAMES (8.1)
This time last year, Reece James had yet to make his Chelsea debut as he was still recovering from offseason ankle surgery. And while we had high expectations and were hoping that he would be the one to bring balance to right back, after the uncertainties of the position in the preceding years, that wasn’t yet guaranteed.
I think it’s safe to say that now it is — and not just because he finally scored with one of his powerful long-range shots.
That’s not to say there won’t be growing pains — James is still just 20 years old and as we saw during Project Restart especially, he will have his inconsistencies — but we’re probably set for a good while with him. (Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc, etc.)
2. TIMO WERNER (7.7)
Werner won a penalty, which Jorginho converted, and was denied at least two clear 1-v-1s by his new teammates delaying obvious passes for no good reason. Werner himself touched on this in his post-match comments — once we dial those in, he should be bagging the goals by the hatful, just as he was in the Bundesliga.
3. KURT ZOUMA (7.4)
Something I just noticed in the chart below: Zouma is now the second longest-tenured Chelsea first-team player (allowing for his seasons away on loan), with his first rated season coming all the way back in 2014-15. In fact, his goal in this match was his first in the league for Chelsea in five years, which isn’t exactly great (especially given how dominant he should be in the area on set pieces), but shows that he has history with us dating that far back even though he himself is still only 25.
Despite that, Zouma, like the rest of the defenders, has something to prove this season and quite possibly a job to win for next season. He (and Christensen, too) are off to a solid start in that regard.
vs. BRIGHTON (PL, A, W 3-1)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): James (8.1)
GOOD (7.0-7.9): Werner (7.7), Zouma (7.4), Kanté (7.2), Christensen (7.2)
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): Jorginho (6.6), Barkley (6.5, sub), Mount (6.4)
POOR (5.0-5.9): Azpiliuceta (5.8, sub), Hudson-Odoi (5.7, sub), Havertz (5.5), Alonso (5.4)
BAD (4.0-4.9): Arrizabalaga (4.8), Loftus-Cheek (4.2)
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —