With the Premier League grinding to a reluctant halt, now is a good time to stop and reflect upon the season so far from a Chelsea perspective. It’s been an indifferent start for the Blues with wins against Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Manchester United the highlights but Antonio Conte’s future has been questioned after defeats at the hands of Burnley, Crystal Palace and Roma. In this article, I assess each Chelsea player to have played enough minutes to make a valid judgement on and rate them out of 10.
Thibaut Courtois – 7.5
Despite conceding more goals than he would’ve liked, the Belgian keeper is one of the main reasons why the team haven’t conceded more. His quick reactions, strong shot-stopping and commanding presence make him a real asset to this Chelsea team.
Willy Caballero – 6
A decent start to his Chelsea career but has only seen Carabao Cup action.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 8.5
Arguably the team’s most consistent performer over the past few years and has proved his worth to the side yet again this season. As well as his impressive defensive player, ‘Dave’ has assisted Alvaro Morata on FIVE occasions in the Premier League, making him the second-highest assister in the league. Not bad for a centre back.
David Luiz – 5.5
Nowhere near the form he showed last season despite scoring his first and second Stamford Bridge goals since his return from Paris. Looks shaky at the back and was dropped for Chelsea’s last game against United for ‘tactical reasons’ and you really can’t blame Conte for putting his foot down.
Andreas Christensen – 7
After two years on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, the Dane has clearly improved massively as a defender and has almost established himself in a very strong Chelsea back 3. The marshalling of Romelu Lukaku a particular highlight.
Antonio Rudiger – 5
Not the greatest of starts from the German defender but there are signs of potential. His confidence will have taken a knock after his return to Roma.
Gary Cahill – 6
It’s not been a bad start to life as club captain but there is certainly room for improvement.
Davide Zappacosta – 6.5
Looks like a good enough back up for Victor Moses and marked his debut with a stunning goal against Qarabag, whether he meant it or not is another question.
Victor Moses – 6.5
His absence coincided with Chelsea’s dip in form which says it all about the influence he has on the team when on the pitch.
Marcos Alonso – 7
After Conte’s pursuit of Alex Sandro in the summer, we expected Alonso to come out and fight his corner and he has delivered. His brace, including a beauty of a free kick, at Wembley stands out from a number of high quality performances from the left wing-back.
Kenedy – 5
Scored his first Chelsea goal for almost two years against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup and has acted as a back-up wing-back in this competition in order to rest Marcos Alonso. Not a long-term solution though.
Cesc Fabregas – 7
Quickly becoming one of the team’s most influential players and has proved especially useful when Chelsea are the dominate side in terms of possession. However, there are still question marks over his name in the big games away from home.
N’Golo Kante – 7.5
Almost certainly the Blues’ most important player. His hamstring injury during October cost the club dear both domestically and in Europe. Even notched his first away goal for the club against his former side at the King Power Stadium.
Tiemoue Bakayoko – 7
If he can sort out his finishing, he’s going to be one hell of a player. Saying that, he’s already found the net twice in Chelsea blue and adds power and strength to an already top-class midfield.
Danny Drinkwater – 6
A steady start for the Englishman and looks to have settled in after a troublesome injury. Made cameo appearances in the Premier League and Champions League so far; his only start coming in the Carabao Cup against Everton.
Ethan Ampadu – 6.5
Had been playing in defence for the youth teams but was called up to train with the senior squad by Antonio Conte and has featured in midfield in the Carabao Cup, impressing in both his appearances.
Pedro – 6.5
Scored a couple of stunning goals against Qarabag and Watford and seems to link up well with Alvaro Morata but Conte’s preference to play with three in midfield has meant his opportunities have been limited.
Willian – 4
Someone whose opportunities have been even more limited due to his dip in form. Netted a superb goal against Everton in the Carabao Cup but is used as a late substitute more often than not in the big games.
Eden Hazard – 8
Took time to get going after his ankle break and lack of pre-season but has sparked into life since his return to the side. That performance in Madrid was something to behold and his levels don’t seem to have dropped. His brace against Roma and winner against Bournemouth have been hugely important in Chelsea’s season so far.
Charly Musonda – 6
Finally getting a chance in the senior squad but hasn’t done enough to impress Conte. Bagged his first Chelsea goal in the Carabao Cup and you could see how much it meant to him.
Michy Batshuayi – 7
Couldn’t fill Diego Costa’s boots at the start of the season but has resumed that role of super-sub that we associated him with last season. Important goals against Atletico and Watford have made some memorable moments but he’ll have enjoyed his first Chelsea hat-trick against Forest in the cup.
Alvaro Morata – 8
I bet you’d forgotten about Diego Costa until I mentioned him just then, that’s because this Spanish striker has started his career in England on top form. His debut goal against Burnley gave the fans a sign of things to come but they surely can’t have expected him to be this good. A hat-trick against Stoke, a crucial equaliser back on Spanish soil and the spectacular header against the Red Devils have made him Chelsea’s top scorer.