Poor Victor Moses had the misfortune of joining Chelsea during a very strange summer. Eden Hazard and Oscar (and Marko Marin as well!) were all in the hopper by the time the Nigeria international signed from Wigan, and with the Blues in full-on flash mode early in that season there wasn’t much room in the starting XI for a direct, pacy workhorse. Relegated to the periphery, Moses worked hard whenever he got the opportunity, and made more than his fair of contributions in his first season with the club — especially in our victorious Europa League run — but his status as an afterthought rendered him something of a running joke. Compared with the superstar attacking midfielders he played alongside, he looked like a visitor from an alternate universe in which that night in Munich turned out very differently.
That’s not Moses’ fault, and neither was it his fault when he was farmed out to Liverpool the following season. Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea revolution involved picking up both Willian and André Schürrle, and with Kevin de Bruyne recalled from loan there was simply no room in the squad for him. What perhaps was his fault was his weak display with the Reds. His new team were on their best run of form in a generation, but Moses’ varied from ‘benched’ to ‘lol’, further reinforcing the idea that his natural position was nowhere near the top of the table.
Fortunately the 2014/15 season was rather kinder to him. On loan at Mark Hughes’ Stoke City, Moses was one of the new-look Potters’ standout players, offering a genuine threat all season with direct, physical play. It’s probably his style as much as anything else that’s caught the eye of the powers that be at Chelsea — he offers a marked change from the more fashionable antics of Willian, Oscar and Eden Hazard, and it’s not difficult to imagine situations where Moses’ brand of less subtle football is useful in the upcoming year.
He also has the benefit of being homegrown, which means that he’s essentially free to add to the squad as insurance for Juan Cuadrado’s Chelsea career continuing its current, depressing trajectory. So that’s pretty much what he’ll do. It’s like if Mohamed Salah’s ‘warm body on the bench’ role came with a Premier League-capable footballer attached. Don’t get too excited about his strong showing in pre-season, but Moses could end up being helpful in the domestic cups, and might make the occasional cameo when the stakes are higher as well.
We Ain't Got No History's 2015/16 season preview was edited by Joe Tweeds and designed by Graham MacAree. If you've enjoyed the work of the authors who generously donated their time to this project, please share with your friends and consider supporting The Chelsea Foundation as a way of saying thank you.Credits