Coming at the end of a season in which Victor Moses unexpectedly made 39 appearances for a title-winning Chelsea side and even more unexpectedly all at right wing-back, the Nigerian international’s display against Arsenal in the 2017 FA Cup final highlighted his inevitable deficiencies in that role.
Seen as a winger-forward for all but one season of his career thus far, Moses’ defensive weaknesses were exposed by the Gunners and he was eventually sent off after a naive challenge on an Arsenal attacker followed by a controversial dive saw him receive a double-booking.
That in part has lead to calls for Antonio Conte to sign a more natural upgrade this summer. In fact, the Blues boss has already admitted the club lost out to Manchester City in the race for Kyle Walker’s services, whilst Italy international Antonio Candreva and Southampton No.2 Cedric Soares have both been linked as possible right wing-back targets.
However, Moses demonstrated yesterday in the Community Shield that he is ready to take up the challenge for at least another season. Chelsea were far from convincing but Moses was certainly amongst the best of an underwhelming bunch, reacting quickest to a loose ball flung back into the box from a set piece to put the Blues ahead after the interval.
Aside from getting himself on the scoresheet, it was the balance to the 26-year-old’s performance that really stood out, weighing in with two crosses, two dribbles and two tackles apiece whilst laying on one chance for a team-mate.
With Chelsea’s squad still on the short side and many departments requiring Conte’s attention before the transfer window slams shut, Moses’ performance on Sunday may have just convinced his manager to hold off his search for a new right wing-back until at least next summer.