Victor Moses has enjoyed a fairly successful first season at Chelsea so far, making an impression on the side even as he struggles to claim a place in an attacking midfield chock full of world class players.
However no matter what happens in the rest of the year, Moses will likely remember this season as the year he came of age with a run of superb performances for Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations.
Moses has been the catalyst for their success, dragging his side through the group stages by winning as dispatching two penalties against Ethiopia, before running the show as Nigeria surged into a 3-0 half time lead against Mali in the semi-final.
The question for Rafa Benitez is how to integrate the Moses that has been appearing for Nigeria into the Chelsea side, because he can do so successfully, the 22-year-old could be a major factor in Chelsea’s success in the last months of the season.
Moses has been starting on the left of a three man attack for Nigeria, but frequently cutting inside when his side pressed forward to take up a position in the centre. Chelsea tend to play with a band of three attacking midfielders behind a striker, but Moses could still operate in similar areas as he does for country in this position.
Of course one major difference is that Chelsea are perhaps keen to keep as much space in the middle for the magisterial Juan Mata, and also will likely start Eden Hazard on the left flank for most games in the run in. However Moses adaptability should mean he is comfortable starting on the right side of their attack , and his direct running will be as effective wherever he starts.
The powerful nature of Moses’ game will be a welcome variety to the technical but lightweight work that Mata, Hazard and Oscar generally produce. Moses is clearly a skillful player, but also brings a direct threat and a physical presence to the attack. The Nigerian has also shown a welcome knack of picking up important goals in big matches, and if he maintains his form for his country when back at Chelsea, Moses will be a huge part of the Chelsea’s run in.