Chelsea Football Club’s start to the season hasn’t gone the way they probably planned it to go. After a tough but positive draw against Liverpool, the Blues succumbed to defeat yesterday as they lost 1-3 to West Ham at the London Stadium. Goals from Nayef Aguerd, Michail Antonio, and Lucas Paqueta sealed the deal for West Ham.
On the other hand, Chelsea only had one goal to show courtesy of Carney Chukwuemeka. The Blues did not perform to the best of their abilities, and manager Mauricio Pochettino might not have a lot of positives to take from this. However, the rise of 20-year-old Malo Gusto is certainly a bright sign for the Argentine manager.
Ahead of the game against West Ham, Chelsea lost their club captain Reece James due to a hamstring injury. Over the years, James has been one of Chelsea’s most crucial players, and many wondered how would the team cope without him. Pochettino replace James with 20-year-old Malo Gusto, who had just played his first Premier League game against Liverpool as a substitute.
Naturally, there were doubts about whether Gusto would rise to the occasion. Considering the club paid Lyon €35 million to secure his services, he was expected to deliver his best. However, two crucial factors created a cloud of doubt. The fact that he is 20 years old and was just about to play his second Premier League game made many unsure about his abilities.
Malo Gusto did well for Chelsea against West Ham
However, Malo Gusto proved his doubters wrong. In what was his first start for Chelsea in the Premier League, the French international managed to shine despite his team ending up on the losing side. Before analyzing his performance, it is important to understand replacing Reece James is never an easy task.
While Gusto might have had some problems initially, he did well until the time he was substituted. During his time on the pitch, the 20-year-old had a 96% pass success rate. This proved Gusto has great composure and an eye for good passes. He combined well with the likes of Raheem Sterling on the right to cause some trouble to West Ham’s defense in the first half.
Defensively as well, Malo Gusto seemed to have done his part. In the three tackles he attempted, Gusto managed to get two right. He also went two on two in clearances and had one successful interception. Overall, despite a defeat, there was promise from Gusto. However, one could argue the player has to work more on the offensive aspect of his game.
While Malo Gusto has a lot to do before he becomes a regular starter in the Chelsea setup, the 20-year-old is definitely someone for the future. Under the coaching of Mauricio Pochettino and the mentorship of Reece James, the French international could go on to achieve big things at Stamford Bridge. It will be interesting to monitor Gusto’s future.