Victor Moses has struggled to find a settled role at Chelsea since his £10 million move from Wigan in 2012, but the club’s new manager Antonio Conte believes that he has a future as a wing-back after his impressive performance against Hull at the weekend.
The Italian introduced his favoured 3-5-2 formation to the Blues’ starting XI for the club’s Premier League match against the Tigers at the KC Stadium on Saturday. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the former Juventus manager picked Victor Moses to start a league game for the first time since 2013. Interestingly, the winger wasn’t used in his usual position but was instead picked as a right-wing back.
Conte was delighted by what he saw from the Nigerian, whose work-ethic meant that he was the ideal fit for a position that asks a lot of the players who play in it. The former Italy national manager said, “Moses played an incredible game in defensive and offensive situations. It is fantastic because he is working very hard. He deserved to play and he showed me that my choice was right”.
It wasn’t just the former Crystal Palace and Wigan player who impressed Conte with his work-rate and the manner that he helped the team get into attacking situations. He was also keen to point out that another player who has struggled to find form since moving to Stamford Bridge did well at the KC. Pedro, who moved to West London from Barcelona for £20 million in 2015, earned praise from the manager too. He said, “Pedro can also play in the same way to give you the opportunity to exploit one-v-one”.
The new Chelsea head coach was less pleased with the performance of another of the club’s summer signings, Marcos Alonso. The Spaniard, who started his career with Real Madrid and made one appearance for the Spanish giants before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 2010, was signed by the Blues for £23 million in September. Despite having previous Premier League experience with both Bolton and Sunderland, Conte believes that the 25-year-old has plenty of work still to do if he hopes to command a starting place with the Stamford Bridge side.
Conte thought that Alonso would be able to fit seamlessly into his new system after having played as a wing-back at his former club, but his performance against Hull left a lot to be desired. He said, “Alonso played in this role at Fiorentina. This was his first Premier League start for us, but in the same way as the other players he must work. He played a good game but he can improve”.