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Willian has been Chelsea's standout player this season.

Willian one of five players to have benefited from Chelsea's poor season

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The 2015/16 campaign may have seen Chelsea mount possibly the worst title defence in Premier League history, but that's not to say that it's been a complete waste of time for all involved.

After storming to last season's title under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, most had the Blues as favourites to retain their crown, but fast forward to now and they find themselves sitting anonymously in mid-table under Guus Hiddink.

Chelsea's star players have performed well below the standard expected of them, which in turn has given the club's younger and fringe players the chance to shine. Here are five who have benefited from the west Londoners' shortcomings.

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Kenedy

A highly-rated youngster signed from Brazilian outfit Fluminense last summer, few would have expected Kenedy to make as big an impact as he has.

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The versatile mdifielder made his first few appearances at left-back but has since shifted further up the pitch under Hiddink and to great effect, with his pace and trickery coming to the fore.

At just 20-years-old, he's certainly one to keep an eye on for the future.

Bertrand Traore

Though his time on the pitch has still been somewhat limited this campaign, young Traore has made the most of his chances by scoring four times in 11 appearances.

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-STOKE

Goals against Newcastle and Stoke City in the league were particular highs, proving an able replacement for Diego Costa with his energy and movement.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Chelsea's youngest midfield enforcer burst onto the scene towards the end of last season when Mourinho allowed him a place in the side with the title already sewn up.

The 20-year-old has since built on his performances, playing well in Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic's occasional absence and never looking out of place or nervous when asked to do so.

Willian

When Willian joined Chelsea from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, many failed to see how the industrious Brazilian would fit into the Blues' attacking trident of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League

But while his teammates have struggled and sulked for much of the season, Willian has grabbed the bull by the horns and emerged as one of their best players, consistently performing well and establishing himself a master of free-kicks.

Ten goals this season for an attacking midfielder in a struggling side isn't to be sniffed at, and such statistics will only improve with greater quality around him next campaign.

John Obi Mikel

The Nigerian was Chelsea's forgotten man until the halfway stage of this season. Mourinho would only use him as cover, but Hiddink seems to see more in Mikel and has reaped the rewards of making him an integral part of the first team once again.

FBL-ENG-FACUP-EVERTON-CHELSEA

His run in the side has coincided with Chelsea's 14-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League - and that is no mere coincidence. Strong, composed and simple, Mikel has been nothing short of excellent.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Eden Hazard
Europa League
Frank Lampard
Didier Drogba
Football
Chelsea

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