Chelsea are going strong in the Premier League at the moment and are the favourites for the title. With no European commitments this season, Antonio Conte’s side have been able to concentrate entirely on the league and are reaping the benefits.
The 2015-16 campaign was a huge disappointment for Chelsea, with many of the star players underperforming. Eden Hazard, who can operate as an attacking midfielder or as a winger, was uncharacteristically quiet for most of the season, star striker Diego Costa could score only 12 league goals, and even holding midfielder Nemanja Matic did not have a great campaign.
Things could not have been more different this season. Under Conte, Chelsea are playing brilliant football, have become defensively strong again, and there is harmony in the dressing room. Bookies have the Blues as favourites for the Premier League title ahead of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, and it is not hard to see why.
A number of Chelsea players are doing well this season. Below we have picked the top three:
Diego Costa is back to his best. After a disappointing 2015-16 season in which the Spain international got in trouble on more than one occasion, the striker is now playing the way we all know he can. The 28-year-old is scoring goals regularly and is not getting unnecessary yellow cards.
Costa is a very physical player and likes to get stuck in. Under Italian manager Conte, he is doing that, but there is also a sense that he is being more mature and responsible. The former Atletico Madrid striker could end the season as the top scorer in the Premier League.
For Chelsea to maintain their form in the second half of the season, Costa has to be on top of his game and has to move on from speculation over his future.
Eden Hazard is one of the best and most creative players in Europe and is playing well for Chelsea this season. It seems that the Belgium international is enjoying himself this campaign and is back to his best.
The 26-year-old is creating chances for his teammates and is also scoring important goals, one of which came against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in December.
The former Lille star is probably still not a world-class footballer, but it cannot be denied that when he is on form, Chelsea are at a different level altogether. Hazard is the creator-in-chief in the current team, and manager Conte will hope that he does his best for the remainder of the season.
N’Golo Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester City in the summer of 2016 for a transfer fee of £30million. Too much money? Not at all! In fact, Kante could probably prove to be the ‘bargain’ of the season if Chelsea win the title.
The 25-year-old has been a key player in the Chelsea midfield and has been a superb shield in front of the back-four. The fact that the Blues have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League underlines what Kante has added to the team.
The France international is a very hard-working footballer who can, and does, run throughout the 90 minutes. It cannot be just a coincidence that Chelsea are challenging for the Premier League title in the same season in which they have Kante in the team, can it?
Costa, Hazard and Kante may be our picks for the three best players for Chelsea this season, but other players’ contributions cannot be underestimated. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has made some wonderful saves, defender David Luiz is showing maturity and Marcos Alonso has been brilliant down the left-hand side. If Chelsea win the Premier League title this season, then it will not be down to one particular player, but down to the entire team coming together.