Victor Moses’ career at Stamford Bridge may have once been a laughing matter, but, no opponents seem to be able to stop the Nigerian-born winger from having fun in his Chelsea shirt now. The next opponents the Nigeria international will face are Crystal Palace, where he was given his professional debut at the tender age of sixteen back in 2007. Yet, similar to Chelsea themselves this Premier League season, Moses has managed to build up a strong momentum that the Eagles are likely going to find difficult to halt.
Difficult Three Years
Purchased in 2012 from Wigan for £9 million, Moses made his first league start for Chelsea just two months ago at Hull, after waiting for a grand total of 1239 days to play for the Blues. It has been a struggle for the 25-year-old, who has been on three season-long loans to Liverpool, West Ham and Stoke over the past three years of his career. The lack of faith in his abilities from Chelsea and former boss Jose Mourinho undoubtedly affected his personality, however, he is now back on top form with the Blues and probably leaving Mourinho regretting his decision to put the winger on loan after Moses has shown that he is a key player in Chelsea’s 10-game winning streak this season, a far cry from their substandard performance under the former manager.
Former Chelsea and Nigeria International teammate Mikel John Obi told Standard Sport that this is the happiest he has seen Moses at the club. He says that you can ‘really notice the change’ in the 25-year-old on the training ground, and he’s no longer quiet and reserved but rather making jokes, having a laugh, and finally getting to know his fellow Blues a little better. Apparently, Obi’s advice to Moses was to ‘be a man, stay and fight for your place’ when he was sent on loan, but the Nigeria International said that his friend ‘had his own agenda’ and went on loan anyway, something that his teammate said he respected. However, this year, he seemed ‘fed up’ of being on loan and decided that it was time to compete for his rightful spot.
Naturally, the arrival of new manager Antonio Conte this summer has been hugely influential in getting Moses on the pitch at Stanford Bridge. The Italian’s decision to switch Moses to the right wing position in a 3-4-3 formation may have shocked everybody in the Premier League and beyond, however, the move has certainly paid off nicely, with Chelsea currently in a safe position at number one on the Premier League table and favourites to win with all the best bookmakers at Bookmaker Ratings. Moses has heaped praise on his new boss, saying that by showing faith in him, Conte has managed to restore the player’s confidence after a tough three years.
It seems that the admiration is mutual, too, with Conte reporting that he is ‘pleased to have’ Moses on the team. The Italian apparently approached the Nigerian player during pre-season, before telling him that he wasn’t going anywhere as Conte ‘believed in him’, a move which would turn out to be one of the best decisions made by the new Stanford Bridge boss. Moses said that Conte motivates the whole team to work hard and do well for him, praising the way that he reacts and encourages his team from the touchline. He gives a lot of credit to his new boss for his success so far this season, saying that Conte is ‘always in his ear’ making sure that he’s doing the right thing.