Chelsea’s Player of the Season: Number 4.

4. Branislav Ivanovic – 7.08

Ivanovic may or may not be the highest defender in our list, you will just have to wait and see…

The Serbian managed 34 appearances in the Premier League this season, won us the Europa League final, and even survived being bitten by a Uruguayan.

Many players ‘can play’ two positions, but none as comfortable as Branislav. He is equally capable at both right-back and centre-back, and although he is not as pacey or agile as Azpilicueta, he still managed two assists when playing there this season.

A rock in the centre of defence, he was dribbled past just 9 times in the 34 games this season, less than once every 3 games. He managed 196 clearances at 5.8 per game in the league, and was a massive contributing factor to us conceding just 39 goals this season, with only two teams letting less goals in all year.

A piece on the main site listed him as one of the Top 3 Unsung heroes of the season, and its hard to disagree with that, although his crucial winner in the Europa League may well have give him a place in Chelsea folk law in years to come.

Its hard to just mention the 29 year-old’s defending when he managed 5 goals and an assist in the league, and in fact was our 5th highest goalscorer this season. Four of them came at Stamford Bridge, including one in his star performance of the season, and arguably ours, when we beat Aston Villa 8-0.

He managed a 90% pass completion in that game, as well as completing four of his five long ball attempts, proving his quality at delivering both short and long passes, giving that extra dimension to our play.

He managed to win 5 aerial duels in that match too as well as 2 interceptions and 3 clearances, a main factor in us keeping a clean sheet in that match, as well as stopping the powerful Benteke, something that not many teams have managed to do this season.

This may well be a Premier League rating list, but I couldn’t help but include this goal in the piece. Enjoy…

Do you agree with Ivanovic at Number 4? Who do you think our top three will be?

By Brad Smith

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