Are Stoke moulding Mame Biram Diouf into the new Victor Moses?

Mame Biram Diouf Barrington Coombs / EMPICS Sport

Victor Moses's successful conversion into a right wing-back last season looks to have made a big impression on Mark Hughes, who appears to be doing something similar with Mame Biram Diouf.

Nigeria international Moses was something of a forgotten man at Stamford Bridge after three seasons away on loan - with varying degrees of success - to Stoke City, Liverpool and West Ham United.

With competition in Chelsea's attack intense, Moses appeared set for a season on the sidelines, before Conte took the bold decision to recast the former Wigan Athletic man as a wing-back and employ him on the right side of his 3-4-3 formation.

The rest was history, as Moses enjoyed the best season of his career, scoring a valuable winner against Tottenham Hotspur in November en route to the first Premier League title of his career.

The West African's sterling campaign and unexpectedly successful reinvention as a wing-back looks to have had an influence at the Potteries, where Stoke City boss Hughes appears to have a similar vision for Diouf.

The Senegal international has been employed as a wing-back for Stoke in preseason, and has impressed in the role, despite making his name as a right winger or as a striker.

On occasion last term, we saw the former Manchester United man fill in for Stoke as a full-back, but Hughes's decision to employ Diouf as a right wing-back for much of preseason suggests the 28-year-old is genuine contender to start the season in this role for the Potters.

"I am a striker so it is hard for me to understand, but he must see something in me," Diouf told Stoke City+. "It is very difficult because I haven't ever seen myself as a right back or a wing-back, I think the manager has tricked me.

"I thought that I would just be filling in initially when I was first played in this role, but I am still here now.

"I just want to play football though, so am happy to try anything that the manager feels is right - we will see how it goes."

Hughes's decision to use Diouf in a defensive role may also be a consequence of the forward's struggles to get back among the goals in recent campaigns, where he has - admittedly - struggled with injury concerns.

The forward netted 11 goals in his first season at Stoke after returning to England from Hannover 96, but has only managed six goals in 53 league games over the last two season.