Long before Eberechi Eze burst onto the scene, a fresh-faced Victor Moses was carving out a place in Crystal Palace’s history books at Selhurst Park in 2007.
Moses enjoyed a breakthrough campaign during the 2007/08 season as the Eagles surged to the Championship play-off finals, having made his first-team debut for Palace at the age of 16 in a 1-1 draw with Cardiff City.
He made sixteen appearances for Neil Warnock’s side, scoring three goals and supplying three assists in the Championship, although he was powerless to prevent Palace’s defeat to Bristol City.
The Nigerian eventually left Selhurst Park in 2010 after signing for Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee at the time, believed to be in the region of £2.7m, as he was sold by his boyhood club to raise some much-needed funds as they had entered administration.
He spent two years with Wigan, before leaving the Latics for Chelsea in 2012. Moses received praise from former Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo after he made two impressive appearances as a substitute for the Blues.
“He’s a player I like very much and he will have a big influence in our season,” Di Matteo said.
“He’s strong at holding the ball, his dribbling ability is very good.”
“He can go past defenders, which not many can, he’s got the pace as well and he’s very good at making runs in behind.”
“He’s young and he’ll still improve and develop but he’s an exciting player that I tried very hard to sign, not just this year but previously as well, years ago.”
His successor Antonio Conte singled the “incredible” Moses out for praise after Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Hull City in 2016, claiming “he played an incredible game in a defensive situation and offensive situation.”
Palace fans are probably wondering why the board ever decided to let him leave the club in the first place, as his statistics more than speak for themselves.
52 goals and 47 assists in nearly 400 appearances in all competitions in his club career is a pretty impressive return, especially when you consider the fact that he has spent a considerable amount of time away from his parent club on loan. By comparison, even Andros Townsend has managed to score fewer goals than Moses overall, which speaks volumes.
The former Nigeria international is currently plying his trade with Spartak Moscow, where he has scored one goal and supplied one assist in four games in the Premier Liga, via Transfermarkt. He has won four major titles including the Premier League trophy, two Europa League trophies and one FA Cup trophy during his time at Stamford Bridge.
For the first time in what seems like forever Roy Hodgson finally has options out wide, as Eze, Jeffrey Schlupp, Townsend and Wilfried Zaha are all competing for a place in the starting line-up. And that’s without even mentioning Max Meyer, who has hardly featured at all.
Once hailed as a “special talent” by then-Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, it felt like Moses had the world at his feet. Sadly, destiny had other plans, as he has become yet another casualty of Chelsea’s loan army.
However, that hasn’t stopped Palace in their attempts to prise him away from Stamford Bridge in recent years. According to Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio, via Sky Sports, Palace chief Steve Parish failed in a late attempt to sign the right winger before he moved to Inter Milan earlier this year.
Sadly his latest loan deal includes an option to buy, whilst his current contract with his parent club is set to expire in 2022. Either way, we’d have loved to have seen him pull on a Palace shirt one final time. He’s still only 29, so who knows what might happen in the future.