From Conte favourite to Sarri reserve: How it all went wrong for Moses at Chelsea

Victor Moses Chelsea
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The Nigerian played a pivotal part in Antonio Conte's trophy wins at Stamford Bridge but he has been deemed surplus to requirements by Maurizio Sarri

The January transfer window is open and Victor Moses' Chelsea career is drawing to a close, with the 28-year-old having become a forgotten man at Stamford Bridge.

The versatile winger has only started one game all season and he hasn't featured at all since October.

Less than two years after playing a pivotal part in Chelsea's Premier League title triumph under Antonio Conte, Moses has been deemed surplus to requirements by Maurizio Sarri.

Consequently, a parting of the ways is now inevitable, with Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace and Cardiff City both interested in the Nigerian, who is valued at £12 million ($15.3m) by the Blues.

However, Goal understands that Moses is keen on joining his compatriots John Obi Mikel and Odion Ighalo in China

Joining a Chinese Super League club would undoubtedly result in a pay rise but it would also illustrate just how low his stock has fallen since lifting the FA Cup in May, in what was Conte's final match in charge of Chelsea.

It was the Italian's brainwave on October 1, 2016 that saw Chelsea switch to a 3-4-3 formation – with Moses in an unfamiliar role at wing-back – that sparked a 13-game winning run which propelled the club to their sixth top-flight league title.

Victor Moses Kante Chelsea FA Cup

Moses excelled in his new role and he was sorely missed whenever unavailable, thus cementing his status as a key cog in Conte's champions. 

Having arrived in west London from Wigan as a skilful winger, the £10m ($12.75m) signing had long flattered to deceive, resulting in loan spells at Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham, but immediately looked far more comfortable at the top level in the more withdrawn role.

However, Conte's acrimonious summer exit changed everything. There are always winners and losers from any managerial change but nobody has suffered more from Sarri's arrival than Moses.

The former Napoli boss completely overhauled Chelsea's playing style, switching to a flat back four, thus scrapping the role of the wing-back.

As a result, Moses was suddenly faced with the prospect of competing with the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi for a starting spot. It hasn't gone well, with even midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and reserve left-back Emerson Palmieri considered better options out wide by Sarri than the Nigeria international.

Victor Moses Maurizio Sarri Chelsea PS

In the Italian's eyes, Moses is unsuited to playing at right-back or in midfield, and isn't as effective as his rivals for a place on the wing.

"Moses is more suitable for playing wing-back than as a winger or a full-back, I think," Sarri said in November.

"I don’t know [if he has a future at Chelsea]. He has to improve but his characteristics are a little bit different [to the others]."

Essentially, Moses no longer fits in at Stamford Bridge and he is expected to depart before the end of the month. Sadly, there is unlikely to be any emotional, Cesc Fabregas-like send-off.

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During his time at Chelsea, he has helped the club win the Europa League, the Premier League and the FA Cup, playing a pivotal role in the latter two triumphs as Conte's tireless right wing-back.

Yet he can no longer get near the first team and has most likely already made his final appearance for the Blues. 

However, while Moses may be going, his contribution to Chelsea's recent successes should not be forgotten.