Antonio Conte has revealed he thought Victor Moses couldn’t cut it from a defensive point of view when he first arrived at Chelsea.
Prior to the Italian’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Moses was a fringe player regarded for his attacking ability.
However, the Nigerian has become an integral first-team player in the role of wing-back.
His excellent displays have been one of themost unexpected aspects of the season, with the former Wigan player seemingly only good for being sent on loan until Conte switched to his remarkably effective 3-4-3 formation.
“If you asked me before the change if I imagined him in this new position, I would say not because we started to try to play with the 4-2-4 and I always saw him as a winger, very good one-v-one but a bit poor defensively,” explained Conte, who now believes Moses has become a “complete” player.
“When I decided to change the system, I wanted to try him in this role, to work with him in a different situation, and he showed me great commitment to understand and to study the new role, above all in defensive situations. Now we have a complete player, offensively and defensively.”
Despite his concerns over Moses’ defensive abilities, Conte claims he decided very quickly that the 26-year-old had the quality to be a Chelsea player.
“I realised quickly that Victor could stay with us. I spoke with him during pre-season, when we stayed in America, and told him he will stay with us. I’m happyto have this type of player. I knew him before, but to see him in person is very important to judge a player. He deserved tostay with us this season but also now he isdeserving to play.
“Victor was very, very happy when I told him he would stay. He said to me: ‘I am ready to stay here, to fight for the club, I need to have my chance to show that I deserve to play with Chelsea’. It happened and we are very happy for this because he’s showing he’s a good player.”