Since Antonio Conte decided to switch formation to a 3-4-3, Victor Moses has been deployed as a right wing-back,a move that really surprised many Chelsea fans as the Nigerian has always played in a much more advanced role. The decision has payed off as Moses has been in very good form however, his lack of experience in that role has shown through a couple of times.
When Conte first arrived at the Bridge, Moses was classed as ‘loan material’ by many football fans. Given his impressive performances in pre-season, I thought he would be a good squad player or impact sub but not quite first team quality and that was proven to be true as he didn’t start in a single match until the change in formation.
Away to Hull, Conte started him as a right wing-back in a 3-4-3. Since then, he has started in every match in that same role and has impressed. As good as he has been though, he has been caught out of position on a couple occasions. Although no goals have been conceded as a direct result of his bad positioning, it is still an issue that needs to be addressed.
The most notable of these mistakes was when a brilliant through ball from David Silva to Leroy Sané who had made a run in behind the defence and Moses failed to track his run. Luckily for Chelsea, a brilliant block from César Azpilicueta stopped City from going 1-0 up. Had that have gone in, I feel as though he would’ve been criticised a lot. Although the Blues were let off the hook, they cannot afford to give those sorts of chances to the opposition or they will eventually make the most of them.
In the image below against Tottenham, a similar thing occurs although Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen chose the wrong option and didn’t play in the open Heung Min Son who was in a lot of space due to Moses not being well positioned. Although not even a shot from a good location came from this mistake, he can’t afford to do this on a regular basis as Chelsea will be punished.
Even though Moses isn’t that great defensively as I’ve highlighted on a few occasions, you could possibly argue that it doesn’t matter that much as there are four other more experienced defenders playing beside him. I somewhat agree with this opinion although I feel that against sides that have a lot of quality going forward, Moses isn’t the right player for the job. When Chelsea next play Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and possibly Tottenham, I think that Azpilicueta should start ahead of the Nigerian.
One of Moses’ best performances came against Middlesbrough at the Riverside. This was partly due to the freedom he was given by Boro left winger Gastón Ramírez who never seemed to be in the correct position, but also because Boro aren’t the most attacking of sides. Against similar sides, expect the Nigerian international to have a brilliant game.
Contrary to what many people think, I believe that Moses isn’t a brilliant defender however, It is perfectly possible for Moses to develop into the all-round full back but he isn’t quite there yet. If he can improve the defensive side of his game, I can honestly see him turning into one of the best right backs in the League. I don’t think Chelsea need a new right-back, however if they can get someone cheap who is more accustomed to that role, I believe that they should sign him. Alessandro Florenzi and Mario Gaspar are two players that I think if Chelsea can find the right price, they would be brilliant signings.