Chalobah holds no grudges against ‘difficult’ Chelsea

Rob McCarthy

Nathaniel Chalobah holds no grudges against former club Chelsea, despite having to leave Stamford Bridge to win his first England senior call-up.

Chalobah swapped Chelsea for Watford in the summer and has been rewarded for his impressive form with his new club with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

“Everyone knows Chelsea is very difficult,” he said at a press conference.

“Chelsea is a world-class club with world-class players, it was difficult for me to get in the team.

“As always I tried to stay focused and concentrated. Chelsea is in the past now.”

Pushed on whether he got enough of an opportunity to prove himself in west London, Chalobah added: “There’s a lot of pressure on winning games and sometimes to chuck a youngster in is not an easy decision for the manager. But I felt I gave my best when I was there.

“Now I’ve moved to Watford I’ve got the opportunity to try to showcase myself.”

On whether young players in general in the Premier League should be given more of a chance, Chalobah said: “I think there’s a lot of good young English players.

“I think personally it is very difficult being young, there’s a lot of pressure. Clubs have to be brave to play young players. It’s the only way to gain experience.”

Chalobah described his call-up as “something I’ve always dreamt of”, but is determined not to get carried away.

He said: “Everyone feels pressure in some way, but for me it’s just about keeping my head down and staying focused.

“Things are going to be said, you’re going to be praised, the media might try and kill you sometimes, but it’s part and parcel of football.”

The midfielder is the first Watford player to receive an England call since John Barnes 34 years ago.

“Things are going well at the club for me at the minute,” said Chalobah. “I’m just trying to keep my head down and stay focused and hopefully try and get many more call-ups.”