Victor Moses is a man with the world at his feet. The Nigerian international has been identified by Antonio Conte, his adoring manager, as one of the best in the world in his new role as a right wing-back.
In truth, it is unfair to classify the 26-year-old as playing a single role; the overused quip about N’Golo Kante playing in two different positions on either side of Nemanja Matic could be said of his teammate too, with Moses seeming to occupy the entire right flank at any one time due to his indefatigable style.
Victor Moses’ stamina make him the perfect man for his Chelsea role says Roberto Martinez https://t.co/4h7RffE5s5
— Chelsea News App (@CFCNewsApp) February 7, 2017
The former Wigan Athletic player has completed more dribbles than every Chelsea player bar attacking lynchpins Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, and has delivered the most crosses from open play of any man in blue this term. He has done all this without for one moment reneging on his defensive duties.
All that Moses has achieved, though, he has had to work incredibly hard for, and through unimaginable adversity.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Moses has discussed playing rough games in bare feet before moving to England. This wasn’t a dream move motivated by the prospect of better playing facilities at a professional side, however, but a relocation born out of tragedy and danger.
The son of a Christian pastor and a mother who also worked within the church, Moses grew up during a very uncertain and tumultuous time for his country. He felt the effects of this in the most horrific of ways when, as a result of growing tensions between Christians and Muslims, his parents were murdered during riots in 2002.
An 11-year-old Victor was protected by family friends, who hid him away before managing to send him to live in London, where he was taken in by foster parents. In England, a strange and undoubtedly depressing land where he had no loved ones, football was the only familiarity.
It didn’t take long for the precocious teen to draw the attention of Crystal Palace, who signed him up and handed him a professional debut at the age of 16, playing alongside John Bostock in what was arguably the country’s most exciting young side of the time.
Following impressive performances for Palace, Dave Whelan stumped up the money to take Moses to Wigan. The Road to Wigan Pier must have been as bleak for a 20-year-old from Lagos as it had been for Orwell all those years ago, but he was a revelation at the club and two years later signed for Chelsea, where he would surely soon break into the first team and remain there until a Spanish giant came knocking.
Things didn’t work out as planned. Following a despairingly well-trodden path, Moses was given insufficient time to impress with the Blues before being shunted out on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United. Surprisingly, he never made a huge impact at any of the three and seemed destined to be sold by his parent club, probably to a team fighting for survival or in the Premier League’s bottom half at best.
Of course, that wasn’t what the player envisaged. Perhaps motivated by the religion his parents instilled in him, Moses never lost faith and saw new boss Antonio Conte as his way into the first team.
Conte didn’t expect the world of him, but kept the Super Eagle for pre-season training to see if he could find him a role. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before he and new signing Marcos Alonso were cornerstones of the side and Conte’s distinctive style, marauding down the wings and giving their all for a team who have looked possessed since they were taken apart by Arsenal earlier in the season.
Chelsea are a side often begrudged by many of success, and there are reasons for that, but if there is one player who should be congratulated by all on his inevitable Premier League winner’s medal this year, it’s Victor Moses.
Moses wasn’t part of Chelsea’s 2012 UCL Winners XI, but where are they all now…