From stalwart to liability: Defender is Chelsea flop of 2016
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Football Insider names Chelsea’s flop of the year for 2016.
The Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic has been the club’s flop of the year after seeing his standards drop considerably.
The 32-year-old has been a loyal servant for Chelsea since his arrival in 2008 and has won two Premier League titles, as well as the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup.
However, the full-back has suffered a dreadful 2016 and it’s been his worst during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea slumped to a 10th-placed finish in the Premier League last season and Ivanovic was one of the club’s worst performers.
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The right-back has lost his place in the starting XI this campaign to Victor Moses and has not started a match since September.
Antonio Conte dropped the defender after the embarrassing 3-0 defeat against Arsenal and he has not started since, but Chelsea have bounced back with 11 consecutive victories.
Ivanovic is well liked by the club’s supporters and was one of the best full-backs in the Premier League during his peak.
The Serbian was a powerful right-back for Chelsea and can also play in the middle of defence.
He has definitely lost a yard of pace during 2016 and could potentially be used effectively by Conte in the three-man defence.
Ivanovic has made a huge 374 appearances for the Blues and is regarded as one of the club’s best full-backs in recent history, but 2016 has certainly been a year to forget for the defender.