By James McManus
Chelsea's impressive 6-0 victory over Championship outfit Wolves in the third-round of the League Cup last night will have pleased the home faithful at Stamford Bridge no end, but it was the lively performance of winger Victor Moses which caught the eye the most and bodes extremely well for the future.
Roberto Di Matteo named a starting XI which contained an exciting blend of youth and experience against Stale Solbakken's side and they more than delivered on their promise on paper with a resounding win, but it was the 21-year-old's mature display on the flank that will have given the Italian boss the most food for thought in a night of positives.
[08:03:54] Stephen Darwin:
Initially starting on the right last night, Moses was heavily involved throughout the game, winning the free-kick that led to Juan Mata setting up Gary Cahill's opener in the third minute and coaxing a soft penalty out of a Dorus De Vries challenge in the second half which Oriol Romeu subsequently converted from the spot.
His evening was made complete and the icing on the cake well and truly added when he nodded in the his side's sixth in the 71st minute after beating Ronald Zubar in the air to thump home a powerful header into the bottom left-hand corner, wrong-footing De Vries in the process.
While his pace, directness and ability to beat a man make him a constant threat, it was his versatility, though, which could prove the most useful aspect of his natural game as the season progresses, after he later moved up front when Fernando Torres was substituted as the game wore on.
Di Matteo has been criticised in some quarters for a failure to invest in another striker before the close of the transfer window this summer, but Moses' adaptability could prove immeasurably handy in this respect.
They were ultimately foiled in their attempts to secure a marquee replacement for the departed Didier Drogba this summer, with moves for Leverkusen striker Andre Schurrle, Porto's Hulk and Napoli's Edinson Cavani failing to materialise, but perhaps the solution is already there, right under their very noses in the form of the Nigerian international.
Moses mentioned in the programme notes ahead of last night's game: "Changing position comes naturally to me, to be honest. I don't really mind where I play - left, right, up front on my own or with another striker. I'm just versatile like that and I don't mind playing anywhere in attack."
With the side making not only a statement of intent by spending north of £80m during the summer, they have also been accused of putting all their eggs in one basket so to speak, by their perceived over-reliance on Fernando Torres and they appear to have made a deliberate attempt to adjust the style to try and get the best out of their £50m man.
Nevertheless, replacing Drogba is easier said than done and his goals in the big games will be sorely missed and Torres will require players to help lighten the load and share the burden as the campaign wears on.
| CHELSEA LATEST
|18/1||Chelsea are 18/1 to beat Arsenal 2-0 with William Hill|
So far, since making his move to the European champions, he has been used sparingly by Di Matteo as he looks to integrate him gradually into the side, but he did manage to make positive impact during an enterprising cameo against QPR.
The temptation with such a diverse squad is to have an established pecking order in terms of experience, and cup games such as the one against Wolves are often treated as little more than an opportunity to grant fringe players more playing time out on the pitch, but Moses has already demonstrated that he has got the potential to be much more than that.
Playing around a better calibre of player than he is used to will also improve his development as he looks to become a more technical player rather than the battering ram people associate him with being at the moment.
He concluded during the interview with in the team's programme: "I'm looking forward to every game that I'm going to be involved in, whether it's the Champions League, Premier League or anything else. If I get my chance, then I've just got to go out there and take it and help the team to do as well as possible."
One suspects that after a magnificent display on his full debut at his new club, where he already looks to be getting to grips with the side's style and system, that he will be granted many more opportunities throughout the campaign.
Indeed he looks set to make himself not only an integral squad player, but a relied upon member, and given the revolving door policy for attacking talent at Stamford Bridge, that in itself is no mean feat and he looks more than up to the task at hand.
Follow James McManus on