The Nigerian winger was 11 when his parents were killed in religious riots in Kaduna. He reflects on his journey from the depths of personal tragedy to his pride at joining Chelsea. To Victor Moses, the images have a dream-like quality.
The Nigeria winger had prayed since the beginning of July for the completion of his transfer from Wigan Athletic to Chelsea and there had come a point when he feared that it would not happen. But, in a whirlwind week at the end of August he signed for £9m, was introduced to the Stamford Bridge crowd before the Newcastle United game, felt his eyes widen and his stomach flip during his first training session and then, the finale, watched the European Super Cup against Atlético Madrid as an unused substitute.
Moses speaks in shy, hushed tones but they do not disguise the awe and excitement that he feels. His arrival at Chelsea marks a significant staging post in his quest to reach the game’s summit, even if it pales in comparison to his broader journey from the depths of personal tragedy. His parents were murdered in Nigeria and Moses fled to England as an 11-year-old asylum seeker.
He feels that they look down on him with pride. Moses’ focus is on the future and the opportunities that he intends to grasp. He hopes to make his debut at some stage of the grudge fixture at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, although to give it such billing feels crass in the light of what he has lived through.
The 21-year-old bristles with quiet determination. He was Chelsea’s final attack-minded signing of the summer, following Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar, who joined at a total cost of £60m, and with Juan Mata and Ramires also vying for prominence in Roberto Di Matteo’s line of three behind the main striker, the competition for places is ferocious.
It is reasonable to wonder whether Moses, who was Wigan’s main man last season and is becoming something similar for Nigeria, will enjoy the minutes that a talent like his wants and needs. He had no hesitation, though, in signing up for the challenge. Moses is desperate to impress and he says that he has no preference about where he plays.
“I feel comfortable anywhere up front,” he says. “Left wing, right wing, behind the striker. I thought that the transfer wasn’t going to happen because it did drag on a bit but I’m delighted that everything is sorted. I just want to enjoy myself and play football.
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