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As is the case in each transfer window, the exodus of youngsters from Chelsea continues, with the latest being midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, who has joined fellow Premier League side Watford FC for a fee of £6million (Daily Mail).
The 22-year old had an offer of a new contract from the Premier League champions, but refused it in order to secure a move away in search of regular playing time and has joined the Hornets, signing a five-year deal with the club.
Chalobah featured sparingly in Antonio Conte’s title winning squad last season, making 10 Premier League appearances, with just one of them being a start. He managed to notch up an assist in those games and also featured 5 times in the cup competitions. It was always unlikely that the Academy graduate would have been able to cement a place in the starting XI next season.
Despite him hardly featuring for the Chelsea first-team, Chalobah’s quality is not in question. The 22-year old has had a loan spell at Watford before, in the 2012/13 season, when he featured 42 times in the Championship and established himself as one of the most impressive midfielders in the division. Chalobah managed to score 5 goals, helping the team to a place in the playoff finals. So, the Hornets’ supporters will be very much aware of what they will be getting from the player.
He also has plenty of exposure already, despite his young age, having had loan spells with the likes of Middlesbrough, Reading, Nottingham Forest, Burnley and Serie A club Napoli. Chalobah also played an important role in England U-21s semi-final run in the last month’s UEFA U-21 European Championships in Poland.
Tall, strong and extremely athletic, Chalobah can slot into a central midfield role or in a withdrawn no.6 position as well. The England youth international has the ability to impact games in both the attacking and the defensive halves of the pitch, which makes him a valuable addition to Marco Silva’s Watford side.
A Strong tackler and a robust presence in the middle of the park, the former Chelsea academy man can bully players off the ball and backs it up with good technical ability as well. And what more, Chalobah is a natural leader on the pitch and despite his young age, can shoulder responsibilities and has shown great maturity as well.
The departure of Mario Suarez from the Vicarage Road could soon be followed up with the exits of Valon Behrami and even Ben Watson, leaving Watford a little short in the midfield options. With the 22-year old Chalobah in the ranks, his most likely midfield partners – Etienne Capoue and Tom Cleverley will be awarded more creative freedom and more chances to have a say in the attacking third, while Chalobah too can get forward and cause troubles to the opposition.
Chalobah fits in the profile of players that the manager Marco Silva likes to work with – young, immensely talented but needs nurturing. He has shown all the right qualities to go on and become a future England international and is an excellent addition to Watford’s squad.