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WAGNH Chelsea Player of the Year 2020-21

Season review: community ratings and statistics

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Another season in the books, the 107th in the club’s 115th year of existence — and the 9th with WAGNH Community Player Ratings! And unlike last season, which was the longest in history spanning almost exactly 365 days, this one was one of the shortest and therefore most congested. Chelsea still managed to play 59 games in all competitions despite starting the season a month later than usual, making two finals, winning one, and finishing in fourth place.

Throughout it all, the WAGNH community have been diligently rating the players, casting votes in the wake of each performance, good or bad. Ratings are an inherently flawed exercise, combining aspects of popularity, sentiment, personal preferences, and of course the performances themselves, and casting votes immediately after games will add a significant emotional component as well. But by doing so, we get a more interesting picture than just a vote at the end of the year, which is how most seasonal awards are determined and which suffer greatly from recency bias.

That said, WAGNH’s choice is the same as the club’s choice, though it was a very close call between Mason Mount and N’Golo Kanté, who finished the season in ridiculous form, winning our Man of the Match in four of his last six starts. But Mount collected eight such awards during the course of the season, which was one more than Kanté. And so, 22-year-old Mason Mount, Chelsea’s very own, is our 2020-21 WAGNH Chelsea Player of the Year!

He joins previous winners Christian Pulisic (2019-20), Eden Hazard (2018-19, 2016-17, 2014-15, 2012-13), N’Golo Kanté (2017-18), Willian (2015-16), and Nemanja Matić (2013-14).

Congrats, Mason! Here’s the first of many.


SEASON RATINGS

EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —

EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —

GOOD (7.0-7.9): Mount (7.0), Kanté (7.0)

AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): Mendy (6.9), Silva (6.9), Rüdiger (6.9), James (6.7), Chilwell (6.7), Christensen (6.7), Azpilicueta (6.7), Hudson-Odoi (6.6), Pulisic (6.6), Gilmour (6.6), Kovačić (6.5), Zouma (6.5), Werner (6.4), Havertz (6.3), Giroud (6.2), Ziyech (6.2), Abraham (6.2), Jorginho (6.2), Emerson (6.2)

POOR (5.0-5.9): Alonso (5.9), Arrizabalaga (5.8)

BAD (4.0-4.9): —

TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —

Here’s a rundown of the players with at least 10 rated appearances to their name, with thoughts and statistics from Expected Chelsea. The first tie-breaker for the rankings was number of Man of the Match awards, the second was number of appearances.

Those who did not collect at least 10 ratings include: Fikayo Tomori (4), Ross Barkley (3), Tino Anjorin (3), Willy Caballero (2), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (1)


Notes: Basic metrics such as goals, assists and appearances pertain to all competitions while advanced metrics are available only for Premier League and Champions League matches.

Stats of note include metrics where a player was the top 5 in the squad. All ranks have been made based on total statistics and not per-90 measures. While using totals instead of per-90s is inherently biased towards players who made a high number of appearances, it can also be viewed as a reward for their durability in what has been a very congested season.

Charts for players pertain only to league play unless stated otherwise.

Stats do not fully convey the performance of defensive players. A high number of tackles, for instance, does not always mean a defender was good.


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

1. Mason Mount (7.0, 8 MoM)

The good
Mount took a major leap from a talented but inconsistent youngster to one of the finest midfielders in the league. The 22-year-old did almost everything for Chelsea this season on both sides of the ball, and with impressive durability and availability.

Both Tuchel and Lampard heavily on him, more than one reason or two, and were not let down. Barring a couple of games late in the season, Mount was consistently excellent despite being in action every three days, leading the team with 54 appearances from 59 total matches (Timo Werner was the only other player above 50).

The bad
The next step in Mount’s development is to improve his incisiveness in and around the box, and moving the ball into the box. Mount will also be the first person to acknowledge that 9 goals and 8 assists is not quite enough for a player of his talent.

Highest point of the season
His goal against Real Madrid marked his arrival on the biggest stage. He was arguably the second best player across both legs, behind one N’Golo Kanté, and the goal was richly deserved.

Lowest point of the season
The miss against Tottenham in the League Cup penalty shootout. He had a subpar display even before the decisive moment and was unfortunate to be responsible for our elimination.

Stats of note
54 appearances (48 starts)
9 goals (1 penalty)
8 assists
10.1 expected assists — 1st — 0.25 per 90
102 key passes — 1st — 2.52 per 90
69 passes into box — 1st — 1.70 per 90
213 progressive passes — 1st — 5.26 per 90
188 shot-creating actions — 1st — 4.64 per 90
260 pressure regains — 1st — 6.42 per 90
315 progressive carries — 1st — 7.78 per 90
116 carries into final third — 1st — 2.86 per 90
63 successful dribbles (99 attempted) — Joint 1st — 1.56 per 90
107 shots — 2nd — 2.28 per 90
62 tackles won — 2nd — 1.32 per 90
173 touches in box — 2nd — 4.27 per 90
50 carries into box — 2nd — 1.23 per 90
281 progressive passes received — 2nd — 6.94 per 90
8.6 expected goals — 3rd — 0.21 per 90
183 passes into final third — 3rd — 4.52 per 90
278 loose-ball recoveries — 5th — 6.86 per 90


Chelsea FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two Photo by Matthew Lewis - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

2. N’Golo Kanté (7.0, 7 MoM)

The good
Kanté has firmly established himself as a Chelsea legend and now stands in the front of the queue for the Ballon d’Or. His game has taken a leap forward at the age of 30, with his defensive nous and football IQ combined with a newfound confidence on the ball.

Kanté is now even better than he was under Conte, a considerable achievement considering how good he was back then. Unlike his predecessors, Thomas Tuchel has found the perfect formula to get the best out of Chelsea’s defensive talisman.

The bad
For the second successive season, his fitness was a major source of concern. While he is still among the best players on the planet, he was only able to start 34 games across the season. Load-management might be an option to prevent these injuries in the future.

Highest point of the season
Kanté’s run of form in the Champions League this season will be remembered as the finest by a midfielder along with Roy Keane’s in 1999 and Xavi’s in 2009. Of the four epic performances in the later rounds of the tournament, the second-leg outing versus Real Madrid was his magnum opus. Not only did he snuff out every single attack, he was imperious going forward and played a huge part in two goals.

Lowest point of the season
His performance in the first match against Sevilla early on was his poorest of the season. He was slow and lost an unusual amount of duels. The performance led to murmurs of his peak coming to an end, although they were swiftly dispelled.

Stats of note
48 appearances (34 starts)
0 goals
3 assists
80 tackles won — 1st — 2.28 per 90
82 interceptions — 1st — 2.34 per 90
373 loose-ball recoveries — 1st — 11.7 per 90
224 pressure regains — 3rd — 7.04 per 90
55 successful dribbles (70 attempted) — 3rd — 1.73 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

3. Édouard Mendy (6.9, 6 MoM)

The good
Mendy’s confidence and consistency has powered his rise from a little-known Ligue 1 goalkeeper to the best in the Champions League. He is not flashy and he does not command attention in the same way some of his peers do but he does what he is supposed to do exceptionally well. And that’s all that matters.

The bad
In the last month of Lampard’s tenure, he developed a tendency to be a bit rash when attempting to be proactive, but that rashness eventually resolved itself.

Highest point of the season
His two saves off Benzema, one from inside and one from outside the box, would have made the great Petr Čech proud.

Lowest point of the season
Mendy’s misjudgment took out Everton’s Calvert-Lewin at Goodison Park, leading to a penalty. The defeat led to a wretched run of results which eventually resulted in Lampard being relieved of his duties.

Stats of note
44 appearances (44 starts)
0 goals
0 assists
2.8 goals saved over average — 0.07 per 90
1.58% save-rate overperformance
22 crosses stopped (292 faced) — 7.5% collection efficiency — 0.51 per 90
25 defensive actions outside the box — 0.59 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

4. Thiago Silva (6.9, 2 MoM)

The good
Silva looked imperious in most games, dealing with the opposition in a manner bordering on dismissive. For a player about to turn 37, his ability to deal with faster players is highly impressive.

The bad
The fact he is not 10 years younger is the biggest negative of his season. That says a lot about his performance levels.

Highest point of the season
His performance at Old Trafford in October was reminiscent of John Terry in the way he marshaled his troops and dealt with one of the most dangerous attacks in the country.

Lowest point of the season
Something inexplicable happened to Chelsea when facing West Brom this season, and Silva was no exception, especially in the first meeting, a 3-3 draw, which was also his first Premier League start for the club.

Stats of note
34 appearances (33 starts)
2 goals
0 assists
137 clearances — 3rd — 4.93 per 90
16 shots blocked — 4th — 0.58 per 90
288 loose-ball recoveries — 4th — 10.4 per 90
68 aerial duels won (90 contested) — 4th — 2.45 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

5. Antonio Rüdiger (6.9, 1 MoM)

The good
Rüdiger had the strongest comeback story of any Chelsea player this season, going from an unwanted member of the squad to arguably the best defender in England in 2021. His front-foot style of defending, ability on the ball and big personality were all crucial in leading the team to a top-four finish and the Champions League crown.

The bad
His strong personality, a crucial component of every successful dressing room, rubbed some people the wrong way, especially around the time of Lampard’s sacking. They say all is well that ends well and this season has ended extraordinarily well.

Highest point of the season
His performance in the FA Cup semi-final against Man City was thoroughly excellent, locking up City’s highly dangerous right flank with ease.

While Rüdiger had many excellent performances this season, his most impactful moment came off the field. This piece about racism, for the Players’ Tribune, is powerful and thought-provoking in the extreme.

Lowest point of the season
His performance in the drab draw against Krasnodar seemed to support Lampard’s stance of alienating him. He looked tentative with and without the ball and was far from the all-action presence we’d see later on.

Stats of note
34 appearances (32 starts)
1 goal
1 assist
19 shots blocked — 2nd — 0.65 per 90
79 aerial duels won (110 contested) — 3rd — 2.70 per 90
135 clearances — 4th — 4.61 per 90
141 passes into final third — 5th — 4.81 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Manu Fernandez - Pool/Getty Images

6. Reece James (6.7, 4 MoM)

The good
James spent the first three months of the campaign as arguably the best right-back in the country before he slumped along with the rest of the team. After a tricky few weeks to begin Tuchel’s tenure, James solidified his spot in the team — first as a wing-back then as a centre-back.

The bad
He still seems to be getting used to the pace of the Premier League. His passing is too safe at times and it does look as if he does not fully trust his skillset at this level. It is nothing to panic about, however. Players mature at different rates and James’s time will come.

Highest point of the season
He began the season with a bang, scoring a belter away at Brighton while also setting up a goal. That flashed a glimpse of what he could be in the future, a dual threat from distance who is also a strong physical presence.

Lowest point of the season
His upper-body strength can hinder his pace at times, especially over shorter distances. This was especially evident in the away defeat against Arsenal, where he was beaten by a dribble and conceded a penalty.

Stats of note:
47 appearances (34 starts)
1 goal
5 assists
47 key passes — 2nd — 1.44 per 90
53 passes into box — 2nd — 1.62 per 90
57 interceptions — 3rd — 1.56 per 90
212 progressive carries — 3rd — 6.48 per 90
47 successful dribbles (64 attempted) — 4th — 1.44 per 90
52 tackles won — 5th — 1.42 per 90
4.3 expected assists — 5th — 0.13 per 90
85 shot-creating actions — 5th — 2.60 per 90
26 carries into box — Joint 5th — 0.80 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

7. Ben Chilwell (6.7, 2 MoM)

The good
After intense scrutiny surrounding the price tag of his £45m move the summer, Chilwell more than rose to the task. His sharp decision-making and ability to execute the basics made him an indispensable part of the team under two different managers. He has also developed massively over the past 12 months, especially when under pressure with the ball.

His end-product was phenomenal as well, especially for a wing-back. He ended the season with 4 goals and 7 assists, a strong tally for a player whose main work comes before the final pass.

The bad
There is not much in the way of “bad” in Chilwell’s season. His consistency could have been better around the December period but that can be said for everyone in the team.

Highest point of the season
His goal against Porto was a thing of beauty. The control and composure to round the goalkeeper could’ve mistaken him for top tier centre forward.

Lowest point of the season
His Leicester homecoming in January proved to be a total nightmare. He was isolated out wide and was loose on the ball, leading to a bunch of turnovers.

Stats of note
42 appearances (39 starts)
4 goals
7 assists
74 carries into final third — 3rd — 2.18 per 90
209 progressive carries — 4th — 6.15 per 90
38 key passes — 5th — 1.12 per 90
155 progressive passes — 5th — 4.56 per 90
46 interceptions — 5th — 1.24 per 90
101 touches in box — 5th — 2.97 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

8. Andreas Christensen (6.7, 1 MoM)

The good
Christensen appears to have finally come good on the promise he showed in 2017-18 — though it was focus, rather than any “softness” that was his weakness. Tuchel’s arrival seems to have minimized errors in his game, allowing him to play at very high levels.

The bad
There are still faint traces of his previous tendency to switch off at times, especially when the ball is in the air.

Highest point of the season
The Chelsea did not miss Silva for a second in the Champions League final is a testament to Christensen. He came off the bench and without skipping a single beat, showed why he has been rated so highly over the years.

Lowest point of the season
His mistake against Villa in December summed up his lack of progress until that point. He got baited into a rash challenge by Grealish, taking himself out of the game and even picking up an injury in the process, as Villa found the back of the net in the meantime.

Stats of note
27 appearances (24 starts)
0 goals
0 assists
20 shots blocked — 1st — 0.92 per 90
104 clearances — 5th — 4.77 per 90
62 aerial duels won (96 contested) — 5th — 2.84 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

9. César Azpilicueta (6.7, 0 MoM)

The good
After a period on the sidelines to begin the season, Dave came back into the team with typical lack of fuss. While he is not the lockdown defender he was under Mourinho and Conte anyway, he is still very good in the right setup. Playing as the right-centre back in a three got the best out of him and he ably adapted to a wing-back position as well.

The bad
His game on the ball is showing some signs of aging, especially when playing as a centre back. While he has always been great at controlling difficult passes, his release seems to have gotten slower.

Highest point of the season
Azpilicueta reserves his best performances for Manchester City, and this season was no exception. Besides creating a goal for Ziyech, his all-round defensive game was outstanding in the 2-1 win at the Etihad.

Lowest point of the season
Azpilicueta’s season did not have many standout negative talking points. His red card in the last league game against Villa was arguably his nadir.

Stats of note
43 appearances (40 starts)
1 goal
3 assists
143 clearances — 2nd — 4.09 per 90
86 aerial duels won (154 contested) — 2nd — 2.46 per 90
323 loose-ball recoveries — 3rd — 9.23 per 90
176 passes into final third — 4th — 5.03 per 90
156 progressive passes — 4th — 4.46 per 90
164 pressure regains — 4th — 4.69 per 90
53 interceptions — 4th — 1.32 per 90
15 shots blocked — 5th — 0.43 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

10. Callum Hudson-Odoi (6.6, 4 MoM)

The good
Callum took small steps to further his development, receiving his first sustained spell of first-team of football around January and February. He showed some promise in that spell, without converting it to tangible end product.

The bad
He seems to be stuck in a slight limbo at present, facing a potential career crossroads. For him to showcase his full ability, he needs the opportunity to take risks and make mistakes. Will he get it here, ideally on the left? It is hard to see him play over more expensive players, even if his skillset is unique in our team. His lack of minutes in the final part of the season spoke volumes as to how he is viewed by Tuchel.

Highest point of the season
The 4-1 win over Crystal Palace was his best individual performance, with his passing and ball-carrying carving open the defence on multiple occasions.

Lowest point of the season
He was brought on as a sub against Southampton and then taken off again after a really poor display where he did almost everything wrong.

Stats of note
37 appearances (19 starts)
5 goals
5 assists
41 carries into box — 3rd — 2.65 per 90
43 passes into box — 4th — 2.77 per 90
125 progressive passes received — 5th — 8.06 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

11. Christian Pulisic (6.6, 3 MoM)

The good
For the second consecutive year, Pulisic saved his best for the last part of the season. He came up trumps in the European run-in, with goal contributions in both legs against Real Madrid. For a young player to be this good in big games is remarkably encouraging.

Tuchel appears to have figured out his best role too. While he is a good progressive runner, he is not a player who should handle the bulk of attacking build-up except when playing on the counter. His best play comes in and around the box and this is where he should focus his efforts.

The bad
His inconsistency borders on infuriating and he needs to take real steps to weed it out. 6 goals and 4 assists — a large proportion of which (40%) came after games were buried — in 25 starts is not good enough for a player of his ability, especially one who plays as close to goal as he does.

He appears to have the full trust of Tuchel and will continue to receive plenty of opportunities; it is on him to make the most of it.

Highest point of the season
His goal against Real Madrid showed exceptional poise considering the magnitude of the situation. The goal was nowhere near as easy as he made it look.

Lowest point of the season
He was shoehorned into an unnatural role in the first game against Aston Villa and predictably struggled. He could not get his dribbles off and looked lost trying to initiate moves rather than finish them.

Stats of note
43 appearances (25 starts)
5 goals
5 assists
63 successful dribbles (117 attempted) — Joint 1st — 2.63 per 90
69 shots — 3rd — 2.53 per 90
155 touches in box — 3rd — 6.46 per 90
44 passes into box — 3rd — 1.83 per 90
4.6 expected assists — 4th — 0.19 per 90
86 shot-creating actions — 4th — 3.58 per 90
37 carries into box — 4th — 1.54 per 90
199 progressive passes received — 4th — 8.29 per 90
7.8 expected goals - 5th — 0.32 per 90
207 progressive carries — 5th — 8.63 per 90
65 carries into final third — 5th — 2.71 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Manu Fernandez - Pool/Getty Images

12. Billy Gilmour (6.6, 1 MoM)

The good
This was a season of patience for Gilmour. He took opportunities when they came his way, although they were rare. Injuries to other midfielders gave him the chance to play serious games in April and he held his own.

The bad
It is hard to see him play regularly when the three senior midfielders are fit and he plays in a way that is totally different to the other three — their games are, to different extents, based on industry, while Gilmour’s game is based more on finesse. Like Hudson-Odoi, it will be interesting to see the direction in which Gilmour’s career heads this summer.

Highest point of the season
His performances against Fulham and Manchester City were excellent, playing in two different setups. His crisp short passing was on full display, although he did not fully exhibit his passing range.

Lowest point of the season
It was bizarre to see him hooked at half-time against Arsenal, especially since he was the team’s best player in the first-half.

Stats of note
11 appearances (8 starts)
0 goals
0 assists


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

13. Mateo Kovačić (6.5, 1 MoM)

The good
After the quantum leap last season, Kovacic quietly continued to develop facets of his game. His ball-progression rivals any midfielder in the world and when he is on his game, there are very few players who are more pleasing to watch. He has improved defensively but there is still work to be done in this regard.

The bad
His poor decision-making and tendency to switch off are still evident and pop up in some really inconvenient situations.

Highest point of the season
He was absolutely terrific in the home game against Newcastle, playing at a level they could not get close to. If he can replicate that performance, or at least close to it, more often, we will have struck jackpot.

Lowest point of the season
His cameo in the home win against Leicester showed the worst of him, with his lack of awareness leading to two huge chances that could have cost us.

Stats of note:
42 appearances (31 starts)
0 goals
2 assists
211 passes into final third — 1st — 7.87 per 90
195 progressive passes — 2nd — 7.28 per 90
56 successful dribbles (70 attempted) — 2nd — 2.09 per 90
246 progressive carries — 2nd — 9.18 per 90
75 carries into final third — 2nd — 2.80 per 90
59 tackles won — 4th — 1.78 per 90
152 pressure regains — 5th — 5.67 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

14. Kurt Zouma (6.5, 1 MoM)

The good
For a brief period early in the season, Zouma looked unstoppable from set-pieces and was a huge reason behind our initial good form. After the arrival of Tuchel, he was relegated to a squad rotation player but did his job largely well.

The bad
His game is not suited to being the middle centre-back, largely because he likes to attack the ball as opposed to sitting deeper. As a wide centre-back, he is largely fine but the difference between him and Rüdiger is palpable.

Highest point of the season
He was outstanding in the 4-0 home win against Crystal Palace, where a goal capped off what was a great display on both sides of the ball.

Lowest point of the season
He was distinctly subpar in the 5-2 loss to West Brom.

Stats of note
36 appearances (32 starts)
5 goals
0 assists
158 clearances — 1st — 5.75 per 90
116 aerial duels won (157 contested) — 1st — 4.22 per 90
17 shots blocked — 3rd — 0.62 per 90


FBL-EUR-C1-MAN CITY-CHELSEA Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

15. Timo Werner (6.4, 5 MoM)

The good
Werner worked incredibly hard up front under both managers and made hundreds of uncounted selfless runs. While his lack of end product is a worry, his underlying metrics look highly promising. Considering that finishing is subject to fluctuation, who is to say he will not receive the rub of green next year?

The bad
More than his finishing, his general play can hinder the team if he has a bad day. He is not great in tight spaces and this can lead to a lot of lost possessions and, if we are not careful, transitions for the opponents.

Highest point of the season
He ran Real Madrid ragged in the second leg, creating major chances in addition to grabbing a goal. That game offered a glimpse of the real Werner, the player who was rightly dubbed a €100 million superstar available for half the price.

Lowest point of the season
The late win against Rennes had two huge misses by Werner before Giroud came clutch in the end. Behind the misses, his general play was very poor too.

Stats of note
52 appearances (44 starts)
12 goals (3 penalties)
12 assists
18.6 expected goals — 1st — 0.49 per 90
116 shots — 1st — 2.73 per 90
261 touches in box — 1st — 6.89 per 90
72 carries into box — 1st — 1.90 per 90
341 progressive passes received — 1st — 9.00 per 90
7.2 expected assists — 2nd — 0.19 per 90
100 shot-creating actions — 2nd — 2.64 per 90
40 key passes — 4th — 1.06 per 90


TOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-C1-MAN CITY-CHELSEA-TROPHY Photo by MANU FERNANDEZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

16. Kai Havertz (6.3, 3 MoM)

The good
Havertz’s ability to make football look (and be) easy is a trait that no other player in the team possesses. After a slightly slow start due to a non-trivial case of COVID-19, his performances as a forward under Tuchel were outstanding. His ability to drop deep and link play while also getting on the end of chances combined the best of Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud, providing exactly what this team needed.

The bad
Like a lot of his teammates, he needs to be more consistent going forward. His talent is indisputable but he needs to show it on a weekly basis. If he does it, the possibilities are frightening.

Highest point of the season
The goal in the Champions League final. How can it be anything else?

Lowest point of the season
He looked shell-shocked in the defeat to Wolves, early on in the season, losing every duel while offering next to nothing on the ball. This was a performance that was miles away from the Havertz of Leverkusen.

Stats of note:
45 appearances (29 starts)
9 goals
7 assists
9 expected goals - 2nd — 0.35 per 90
221 progressive passes received — 3rd — 8.63 per 90
124 touches in box — 4th — 4.84 per 90
68 carries into final third — 4th — 2.66 per 90
55 shots — 5th — 1.96 per 90
40 successful dribbles (76 attempted) — 5th — 1.56 per 90
26 carries into box — Joint 5th — 1.02 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

17. Olivier Giroud (6.2, 4 MoM)

The good
As always, Giroud was a model pro who was more than happy to defer to others when the situation demanded it. When he was called upon, he offered his most.

The bad
Despite his best efforts, he seems to have outlasted his usefulness at the club. His lack of mobility made it next to impossible to construct attacks with him and he gradually lost his ability to feast on crosses too.

Highest point of the season
His wonder-goal against Atlético was the crucial first step on the way to our second Champions League title.

Lowest point of the season
Like Azpilicueta, Giroud did not have any major negative incidents.

Stats of note:
31 appearances (12 starts)
11 goals (1 penalty)
0 assists


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

18. Hakim Ziyech (6.2, 3 MoM)

The good
On surface-level, Ziyech’s goal contribution rate of 0.5 per 90 is nothing to scoff at. Plenty of his goal contributions came against big opponents or at crucial junctures too. Even in a season where he was nowhere near his best, Ziyech’s numbers look fine.

The bad
Ziyech made his name as a buccaneering attacker in Netherlands for whom no risk was too great. That is exactly why his Chelsea performances have been so surprising. His risk-averse style here is completely off-brand and is probably the single most inexplicable thing this season.

Highest point of the season
His two goals against Manchester City, one in the FA Cup and the other in the league, were both crucial in ensuring our momentum kept flowing at the business end of the season.

Lowest point of the season
His display against Barnsley in the cup was well below the standards we should expect from a player as gifted as Ziyech.

Stats of note
39 appearances (23 starts)
6 goals
4 assists
5 expected assists — 3rd — 0.30 per 90
43 key passes — 3rd — 2.54 per 90
90 shot-creating actions — 3rd — 5.33 per 90
56 shots — 4th — 2.66 per 90
38 passes into box — 5th — 2.25 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

19. Tammy Abraham (6.2, 2 MoM)

The good
Abraham is only the fifth player to finish as Chelsea’s leading goalscorer in all competitions for two consecutive seasons since 2000 — something even Drogba could not achieve. Winning a European title with his childhood club must have been a dream come true but there is not much else. Truth be told, this is a season of few positives for Abraham.

The bad
Tuchel chose a very public way of making his displeasure with Abraham known and there was no way back once the new manager had made up his mind. Picking Havertz as the starting striker over Tammy was the right decision but ostracizing the latter was not, something that should have been obvious with two left-backs on the bench.

Highest point of the season
His brace against high-flying West Ham provided a timely reminder of his goalscoring qualities.

Lowest point of the season
Not even making the bench for the Champions League final bordered on personal humiliation.

Stats of note
32 appearances (18 starts)
12 goals
4 assists


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

20. Jorginho (6.2, 0 MoM)

The good
Jorginho offered a steady presence under Tuchel, shoring up his part of the midfield and allowing Kanté and Kovačić to express themselves. His streak of performances in April deserve particular praise for how demanding they were.

The bad
While he was strongly protected by Tuchel tactically, his weaknesses were still visible from time to time, especially when opponents put his decision-making to test. More worryingly, his passing metrics have fallen year-on-year since 2017-18.

Highest point of the season
His performance in the second leg of the Real Madrid matchup was awesome in every facet and capped off an excellent run of games in the most exacting part of the season.

Lowest point of the season
His performance against West Brom in the 5-2 defeat was shocking in a way very few have been this season, or any season.

Stats of note
43 appearances (38 starts)
8 goals (8 penalties)
2 assists
189 passes into final third — 2nd — 5.59 per 90
238 pressure regains — 2nd — 7.04 per 90
75 interceptions — 2nd — 2.05 per 90
341 loose-ball recoveries — 2nd — 10.1 per 90
169 progressive passes — 3rd — 5.00 per 90
59 tackles won — 3rd — 1.61 per 90
8.5 expected goals - 4th — 0.25 per 90


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

21. Emerson (6.2, 0 MoM)

The good
Tuchel praised Emerson’s professionalism despite not playing much and rightly so. It is not easy to be on the periphery for so long, and his proper conduct deserves praise.

The bad
Emerson is not, and barring a major miracle, will never be Chelsea-standard. It is time to move him on and let him play more regularly at a different club.

Highest point of the season
He found a way past Oblak in a way not many have this season. The finish was laser guided and deserves to be watched on loop.

Lowest point of the season
Nothing of note.

Stats of note
15 appearances (7 starts)
1 goal
0 assists


Chelsea win Champions League title Photo by Alex Caparros - UEFA/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

22. Marcos Alonso (5.9, 0 MoM)

The good
Another season where Marcos Alonso did Marcos Alonso things. He spent a spell out of the team, came back as a wing-back to reinvigorate us and scored a few great goals in the process.

The bad
Alonso’s weaknesses are well known at this point. He is a player with clear strengths and negatives and we must live with them. His lack of speed hindered the team in a few places but as a squad player, we can do a lot worse.

Highest point of the season
His late winner against Manchester City turned out be far more important than it seemed at that point. No other defender in the world would have been in that position but no other “defender” in the world is Alonso.

Lowest point of the season
It was a surprise he lasted 45 minutes in the 3-3 draw against West Brom, that is how bad he was.

Stats of note
17 appearances (15 starts)
2 goals
0 assists


Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Alex Caparros - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

23. Kepa Arrizabalaga (5.8, 1 MoM)

The good
Kepa has done very well to salvage his reputation after his 2019-20 campaign. There has been a change in his demeanor, and he’s looking considerably more positive in games.

The bad
Despite his recent resurgence, his place in the squad remains untenable. His wages are too high to be a backup and he is not starting quality. For the sake of both parties, a move is required.

Highest point of the season
Keeping a clean sheet in a cup semifinal is a massive achievement, especially against a team of Manchester City’s level.

Lowest point of the season
His blunder against Brighton extinguished any hopes he may have had in a battle for starting goalkeeper, and Mendy swiftly took his spot.

Stats of note
14 appearances (13 starts)
0 goals
0 assists
3.2 goals saved below average — 0.24 per 90
7.80% save-rate under-performance
5 crosses stopped (45 faced) — 11.1% collection efficiency — 0.63 per 90
6 defensive actions outside the box — 0.80 per 90

(Note: Kepa’s PSxG is 7.8 and he has conceded 11 goals. The PSxG +/- of -1.2 shown on fbref seems to be an arithmetic error)


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