Of all the players who arrived at the club over the summer, there’s one name that seemed to stand out more than anyone. Yes, Dimitri Payet’s arrival was something of a marquee signing given his stats from last season and what’ve seen of him since, but it was the loan capture of Victor Moses that had me much more excited. Moses’ journey to the top – he may have played for Liverpool and Chelsea but turning out for West Ham constitutes as reaching the very top in my book – has been quite a remarkable journey
Born in the Nigerian capital of Lagos, Moses came to England at the age of 11 following the death of his parents. His natural footballing ability saw him picked up by a Crystal Palace scout whilst playing for Cosmos 90 FC just around the corner from Selhurst Park. He earned recognition as something of a child protégé pretty quickly aft er scoring 50 goals in a single season for Palace’s U14s – it was pretty obvious he was going to make it, even at such a young age
He was handed his professional debut by Palace at just 16 in 2007, and three years, 58 league appearances and 11 goals later, Moses sealed a £2.5m switch to then Premier League outfit Wigan in 2010. It was the promise he showed for the Latics over the following three and a bit seasons that paved the way for his ‘dream’ move to Chelsea. Since then, though, Moses appears to have fallen into the rather uninspiring trap of Chelsea’s loan system.
It’s a well known fact that the Blues have a habit of buying youngsters cheaply and then sending them out on loan to further develop their game. Very rarely do we see a Chelsea player who has been shipped out like this eventually become a first team regular at Stamford Bridge – just look at the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Patrick Bamford and Josh McEchran. But with Moses, the plans appear to be in place for him to eventually break the mould.
The fact he’s enjoyed relatively successful loan spells in the Premier League with Liverpool and Stoke City speak volumes of where he’s at in terms of ability. Chelsea clearly regard him as player who should be playing in the Premier League, which is why they haven’t sent him to a club like Derby, Brentford or Vitesse. Instead he’s been told to go and develop his game in the very competition Chelsea are playing in and just goes to show you how highly they rate him.
Before he arrived at West Ham on Deadline Day, Moses signed a new four-year deal at Chelsea. This could either be to increase his value next summer if we want to make his loan move permanent, or because Chelsea believe he’ll be ready to become a regular after one final season learning his trade elsewhere. I certainly hope it’s the former because, from what we’ve seen of him already, it’s clear we’ve got a very good player on our hands. We already knew that, I know, but it’s at West Ham where I truly believe we’ll see how good Moses really is.
His season at Liverpool came at a time when he was still developing, while a couple of unfortunate injuries prevented him from truly reaching his full potential at Stoke. He played well for both clubs, but didn’t exactly set the world alight. But at West Ham, things already look different. Moses’ goal and overall performance against Manchester City typified exactly what we should expect from him this season. The Nigerian was desperately unlucky not have registered on his debut in the win against Newcastle, though his performance played a huge role in us securing all three points anyway.
Now at the age of 24, Moses finally looks ready to show the Premier League exactly what all the fuss was about when he first broke into Palace’s first team. The fact he’ll be doing that while wearing the famous claret and blue is a huge bonus for us. Whatever happens next summer I’m in no doubt that it’ll be at West Ham where Moses finally lives up to all that 2007 hype.