When Victor Moses first put pen to paper at Chelsea, it was largely understood that the Nigerian would play a bit-part role for the West London outfit.
However, Moses enjoyed a strong 2012/13 season with the Blues, appearing in 49 games and scoring an impressive 12 goals in a marathon debut season for the new-look Chelsea squad.
Some spectators may have assumed that the no.13 had made this many appearances in order to cope with the demands of playing a more than 60 games in one season. However, this does not seem to be the case. Rafael Benitez, rather controversially, opted to field Moses with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, rather than Oscar - a decision that did not go down well with fans of the trio.
Benitez felt that Moses gave the side more defensive assurance in a system made for soaking up pressure and counter-attacking with pace.
Moses has developed, matured and, most importantly, produced a better work-rate in regards to his defending when the team is on the back foot. The 22-year-old seems tailor maid for life under Mourinho, with the Portuguese favouring defensive solidarity rather than overall flair and ability, which may put the 2013 AFCON winner ahead of some of his teammates in the pecking order of one of those 3 coveted positions behind the striker in the Blues’ 4-2-3-1 formation.
In addition to the ex-Wigan man's work-rate, he also possesses an ability to hold the width in open play, preventing the Stamford Bridge outfit from playing too narrowly in games where the opposition are dropping deep. This is something which Chelsea lacked during last season, with Oscar usually deployed on the right and often drifting inside; and leaving his defender exposed and attacking space empty. If Moses stays fit, expect him to be one of Mourinho’s prized assets and key men for the big occasions.
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