It is no secret that Chelsea now have an abundance of midfield players available.
With Kevin De Bruyne, Michael Essien, Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, John Obi Mikel, Oscar, Ramires, Andre Schurrle, Willian, and Marko Van Ginkel all vying for playing time, competition is stiff.
Boss Jose Mourinho has shown his favorites so far- Lampard, Oscar and Eden Hazard, but what about the rest?
Before selecting who should play, let me first preface it by stating that all are quality players and could start somewhere in the Premier League. That said, let’s get to the selections.
Right Defensive Midfield: Ramires
The Brazilian is the only one out of the group with the energy to support attack and defence.
The former Benfica man could run for days, and has shown his ability to finish when necessary. As long as he is available, he should be selected for the majority of matches.
Left Defensive Midfield: Frank Lampard
Super Frank may have lost a step as he gets older, but his game is about playing smarter, not
harder. With Ramires holding slightly deeper to offer cover to the back four, Lampard has the ability to press forward and show his astounding eye for the goal.
Don’t expect to see Lamps starting all the time, but when there is an important match, he will be starting if healthy.
Right Attacking Midfield: Oscar
Mourinho has been deploying Oscar in the center position usually held for Juan Mata, and he has not disappointed.
As Mata regains fitness, Oscar will likely be pushed out to the right. He has been fantastic defensively so far this season, always willing to track back; as long as this trend continues he will be chosen over the other options.
Center Attacking Midfield: Juan Mata
Much has been made of Mata’s lack of playing time so far this season. It can be attributed to two factors: minor injuries, and his lack of time under Mourinho.
As he regains fitness and learns how Mourinho wants him to play, he will be back in the
starting line-up. Chelsea’s reigning Player of the Year has predominately been a spectator this term; however, the recent International break could have given Mata enough time to recover and regain fitness.
Left Attacking Midfield: Eden Hazard
Hazard is the one player that can be penciled in with almost absolute certainty. Mourinho wants to turn Hazard into his new Cristiano Ronaldo; if Hazard is able to maintain his attacking flair and prowess, while still helping out on defence, he could easily be on the ballot for next season’s Ballon d’Or with Ronaldo.
The young Belgian is Chelsea’s most exciting player; if he can avoid injury he will start the majority of the club’s matches.
As for the rest, they all have the ability to crack the starting XI, but it will be difficult to feature regularly.
Perhaps if Mourinho is particularly confident, he could play them all.
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