Can Moses Win Mourinho’s Heart? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Can Moses Win Mourinho’s Heart?

Posted: Jul 27, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Augustine Akhilomen Lagos

If pre-season performance is used as yard-stick for retaining players ahead of the new season, then Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses, deserves one of those rare opportunities after a wonderful display against PSG and New York Red Bull in an International Champion Cup in a tour of US.

Victor Moses

Victor Moses

The Nigerian international, who has been loaned out twice since joining the Blues on 23 August 2012 from Wigan, seem to have learnt lots of lessons while playing for Liverpool and Stoke City where he managed just six goals in 45 appearances in all competitions.

He has had such a bit-part career at Chelsea that it’s easy to forget he’s still on the books at Stamford Bridge, but the forward reminded fans of his presence with a goal against Paris Saint-Germain in the International Champions Cup. The 24-year-old’s brilliant run off the ball was expertly picked up by Cesc Fabregas and his subsequent close-range volley was crisp and clinical as the Blues leveled following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s opener on 23 minutes.

But will his pre-seasons performance be enough to win the heart of Chelsea coach, Jose Mourinho, ahead of the 2015/2016 season? It takes a lot to convince the Portuguese coach considering the fact that players like Mohammed Salah and André Schürrle did their best to win his heart. However, if Moses continues with this form, he may be lucky to play a key part at Stamford Bridge.

In his first game back at Chelsea following two years out on loan, Moses did almost everything right. He didn’t score, but he terrorised the New York defence and was only denied the goal he deserved by the width of the post. However, after the match, he promised to score a goal in Chelsea’s next match against PSG, which he fulfilled with a brilliant finish.

This could be Moses’ season, as Jose Mourinho praised the 24-year old’s performance and promised to revive his career for the new season.

“I see him fitting in. He’s strong, he’s experienced, he knows the Premier League well, he’s fast, he’s aggressive.

“OK, he has to play with us. But I’m happy with his week, with his 45 minutes and the next match [against Paris Saint-Germain] he will have 45 more minutes. But Victor has had an evolution in the last couple of years.”

Although he will be faced with stiff competitions from the likes of Eden Hazard, William and Jaun Cuadrado when the new season kicks-off, however, Moses’ strengths lie in his counter attacking threat, which gets him fouled often. He is a good dribbler who uses the wings to cut into the area to shoot with his right foot. Moses needs to work on his finishing as his dribbling and pace often take him clear of defenders but his final ball, whether a shot or a pass, needs to be improved upon.

His first and only full season at Stamford Bridge was not a complete nightmare by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it was Moses’ most prolific to date; bagging 10 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions – including five goals in Europe as the Blues lifted the Europa League title – to rank sixth in the club’s scoring charts for the 2012/13 campaign.

Moses will be remembered for his blistering performance in the colours of the Super Eagles at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, where the team was crowned champions for the third time but failed to hit the headlines at the 2014 FIFA World Cup as Eagles crashed out in the round of 16 after a 2-0 lose to France.

Of course, Moses’ fatal flaw has always been output. Throughout his entire senior career, he’s scored just 43 goals from 261 appearances and only 13 from 135 outings in the Premier League. Compare that to Eden Hazard, Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou or even John Terry – it’s just not the standard one would expect from a regular in the Blues’ attack. His assist’s tally isn’t up to much either.

There is sense in keeping Moses as a squad player for Chelsea, he is still young, with the potential to make an impact of the bench. Most importantly despite being a Nigerian international he counts as a home grown player, having moved to the UK when he was 11.

Moses, who has been handed the Number 20 shirt won by Deco, will be hoping to convince Mourinho in his second coming and definitely he could just be the joker for Chelsea’s title defence this season.