Chelsea player ratings: Costa, Willian and more – quarter-season report

How does the Chelsea squad fare in our quarter-season report?

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Goalkeepers

Thibaut Courtois The Belgium international hasn’t featured for the defending champions since their 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace. Courtois had conceded six goals in three games as well as receiving a red card. Undoubtedly, the 23-year-old has been missed, though. C

Asmir Begovic The Chelsea number two has experienced a turbulent transition from Stoke City to Stamford Bridge. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has been unable to halt Chelsea’s slump and has looked increasingly edgy. C-

Defenders

Cesar Azpilicueta Cesar Azpilicueta, or Dave as he is nicknamed, has been relatively solid for Chelsea. The consistent 7/10 performances have dipped to 6/10. Arguably the least culpable members of the Chelsea defence for the 23 goals that they’ve conceded in 12 games. C+

Gary Cahill The England international has struggled to match the imperious heights of last season. Mirroring a Chelsea defence sapped of confidence, Gary Cahill has looked edgy and his decision-making has been poor. C-

John Terry The Chelsea lionheart was made the poster boy for the west London side’s poor run of results in their opening three games as he was dropped to the bench. John Terry was eventually restored to the side but the Blues skipper has struggled to inject confidence, with the defender in the autumn of his career. C-

Kurt Zouma The young France centre-half has popped up with a number of goals from set-pieces, proving that he is a threat from corners and free-kicks. However, he hasn’t been able to forge much of a relationship with the rest of the defence due to the number of changes in personnel and tactics. C

Baba Rahman The summer signing doesn’t look like a Chelsea defender. When you think of his predecessors at left-back, most notably, Ashley Cole, Baba Rahman isn’t up to standard. He will need to make big adjustments to his game to meet the required level. D-

Branislav Ivanovic Injury came at a good time for the Serbia international after an utterly forgettable start to the season. He made a mistake in six of Chelsea’s opening seven games. Even Jose Mourinho’s decision to hand the right-back the captain’s armband failed to rekindle some semblance of form from Branislav Ivanovic. His return from an injury picked up on international duty may not be a good thing. D-

Midfielders

Willian The pick of Chelsea’s midfielders so far, which isn’t really a compliment. Chelsea aren’t the best at much in the Premier League right now, but the defending champions can boast to have the best free-kick taker in the top-flight. Willian has scored two goals and has made one assist in 10 games, whilst he has impressed in Europe, too. B-

Eden Hazard The PFA player of the year has regressed over the summer months. Whether he has become too complacent after his first Premier League title is open to debate, but the Chelsea forward hasn’t performed. Eden Hazard’s relationship with Mourinho looks to have become a tad frosty, too. There was a glimmer of hope at Stoke after one of his best performances of the season. C-

Ramires The Brazil international has been energetic and enthusiastic but isn’t really the man to drag Chelsea out of their rut. Still, he must have the backing of the Blues hierarchy after he put pen to paper on a new long-term deal last month. C

John Obi Mikel With Chelsea trailing to Liverpool, John Obi Mikel crumbled as he failed to keep hold of the ball or pass it to a team-mate, which is a basic requirement of a midfielder. The Chelsea supporters weren’t happy and it is hard to see how much longer Mikel will have at the club. D-

Cesc Fabregas The former Arsenal captain may have finally lifted the Premier League trophy, but it could be his only English top-flight success unless he can reverse his current form. Cesc Fabregas has looked off the pace and out of his depth as opponents expose his lack of pace and defensive acumen. D

Nemanja Matic Like Fabregas, Nemanja Matic has failed to live up to his high standards of last season. He received two reckless bookings in Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to West Ham United. The Serbia international looks a far cry from the player that Paul Merson hailed as the best in Europe last season. D-

Pedro Unfortunately, a niggling injury has hampered Pedro Rodriguez’s impact at Chelsea. When the Spain international has been on the pitch, he has looked bright and enthusiastic but it has been a tough ask to come into a tired Chelsea squad. Could Pedro be the man to spark a Blues revival? C+

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Why isn’t Mourinho giving Ruben Loftus-Cheek a chance in the first-team? With Fabregas and Matic struggling, logic suggests the introduction of a tall, powerful, hungry youngster could be the perfect medicine for an increasingly ragged-looking Chelsea midfield. For some reason, Mourinho doesn’t fancy Loftus-Cheek. Maybe he can change the managers mind? C

Oscar The Brazil international has disappointed like Hazard. Oscar doesn’t appear entirely happy at the west London side and he was anonymous in a 3-1 loss to Liverpool. He is one of the Chelsea stars that really needs to step up if Mourinho’s men are to climb the table. D

Kenedy Limited to three substitute appearances, like Loftus-Cheek, surely can expect some more game time if the likes of Hazard, Fabregas and Oscar can’t improve. C-

Strikers

Diego Costa The Spain international has not scored in his last six games and has netted just two times in 10 Premier League games. The 27-year-old is lacking match sharpness and ironically, is no longer getting the upper-hand on opponents in the mind-games department, aside from Gabriel Paulista. D

Loic Remy The former Queens Park Rangers striker offered something different after he came off the bench against Stoke City. Loic Remy is a goal-scorer but the Frenchman seems incapable of dislodging an out-of-form Costa. C-

Radamel Falcao While the football romantics and the pocket of Colombia fans at Chelsea games would have hoped a move to Stamford Bridge could have trigged the Atletico Madrid Falcao, we have only seen the Manchester United Falcao so far. D

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