Victor Moses has joined Russian side Spartak Moscow on a permanent basis.
Victor Moses was on Chelsea’s books for nine years, but he only played for the Premier League giants for three and a half seasons.
Moses joined Chelsea in 2012 after he impressed at Wigan and spent that season helping them to a Europa League title. But with the return of Jose Mourinho, the Nigerian was discarded.
To rationalise Mourinho’s decision, Moses never hit the dizzy heights of the potentials he showed as a youngster at Wigan, and it points to how highly he was still rated at that time that it was Liverpool that took him on loan.
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That didn’t work out, neither was his stint the following season at Stoke City and then later West Ham.
Also, the false idea of his potential seemed to have become obvious that Chelsea didn’t look like they cared anymore.
Hence, he was contemplating his next move when Antonio Conte told him to stay, but as the season kicked off, it was clear to him and everyone that he was just a fringe player.
Then there was that first-half collapse at the Emirate Stadium to Arsenal in September 2016. Losing 0-3 at halftime, Conte reverted to his favourite 3-4-3 formation, throwing Moses in as a wing-back, a move that marked the player’s revival at Chelsea and then at length turned the club’s season around.
He started the next 22 Premier League games for Chelsea-from September 2016 to April 2017- and played a crucial role in their 13 consecutive winning streak on their way the title. In total, he made 28 league starts and 33 league appearances that season.
From the cold, Moses had made an unexpected comeback at Chelsea to become one of their most important players.
Not blessed with Pedro’s goal-scoring instincts, neither the flair and nimble feet of Eden Hazard, his qualities, Conte exploited to devastating effect. He had impressive stamina, strength, and fitness, making him the perfect fit for the right wing-back position. Harrying that right-wing with vim and vigour gave Chelsea a new level of penetration and width that made them so deadly.
“Moses has important qualities: technique, physical strength, the ability to cover 70 metres of the pitch. I find it incredible that someone like him has been underestimated,” Conte told Gazzetta dello Sport in November 2016.
Moses’ Chelsea career got another boost with a new contract as a reward for his newfound role and form.
He finished that season with a Premier League title with Chelsea, who also had a good run in the FA Cup, where they lost in the final to Arsenal.
Moses continued to be an important player at Chelsea under Conte the following season. However, struggles with injuries and fitness meant he never quite maintained the heights of the previous season. He also didn’t have the novelty that came with his wing-back role anymore.
Yet, when on form, Moses made Chelsea more efficient although they were also struggling to hit the heights of their Premier League-winning season.
In the closing stages of the 2017/2018 season, Moses managed to garner some momentum, which allowed him to be an important player for Chelsea again as they won a FA Cup title. That was his last impactful act for Chelsea as he lost his place in the team following the summer arrival of Maurizio Sarri,.
Under Sarri’s favoured 4-3-3 formation, there was no place for Moses. Having seen his flair stifled with the demand of the wing-back role, he failed to rediscover the skillset required to be a forward for a club of Chelsea’s status. Not sturdy enough, he was also not considered good enough for the right-back role.
“Moses is more suitable for playing like a wing-back than a winger or a full back,” Sarri once explained.
He managed just one appearance all season before his 18-month loan move to Fenerbahce. A move that only signalled the end of his Chelsea career.
At Fenerbache, Moses got a forward but didn’t do anything spectacular. A year later, he reunited with Conte at Inter, where he went back to his wing-back role.
He played second fiddle to Danilo D’Ambrosio in that half-season that saw him play in the Europa League final, which Inter lost.
Russia was next on his loan journey as he joined up with Spartak Moscow, where he was used as a wing-back.
Last season, he played 19 out of their 30 league games and scored four goals. He has found a home there hence signing a permanent deal that ended his Chelsea journey.