Nathaniel Chalobah replaced Michy Batshuayi to make his Chelsea debut away at Leicester
SIX years is a long time to hold out for your debut – but for Nathaniel Chalobah, that period featured nearly 100 games for other teams and a lot of waiting in the wings.
The Chelsea midfielder finally made his debut for his boyhood club on Tuesday September 20 replacing Michy Batshuayi after 80 minutes of their 4-2 extra time EFL Cup win over Leicester.
A first appearance for the Blues has been a long time coming, initially appearing on the bench as a 15-year-old in his side’s League Cup loss to Newcastle on September 22, 2010 under Carlo Ancelotti.
The debut had been a long time coming given he first made the bench in 2010, aged 15
Since then, there have been six managers at the helm, all of whom did not fancy the Sierra Leone born Chalobah, who can also play in defence, to be involved in more than just pre-season tours.
He signed a professional deal in January 2012, just after turning 17, but was soon sent out for the the first of SIX loan spells as he played 42 times in a successful time at then-Championship side Watford during the 2012-13 campaign.
Nathaniel Chalobah Loans
2013–14: Nottingham Forest
He returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2013 but was again loaned out the following season in the second tier with both Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough.
But with the arrival of Italian Antonio Conte, there has seemed to be a change in the young star’s fortunes, with Chelsea reportedly rejecting a number of approaches from clubs, including title-winner Leicester, keen on taking Chalobah on loan number SEVEN in the last transfer window.
After after he was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s second-round EFL Cup victory over Bristol Rovers earlier in the season, the 21-year-old was at last rewarded with 40 minutes of cup action.
And while the Premier League squad may be a step too far barring an injury crisis, Chalobah will be hopeful of more game time now Chelsea have reached round four of the competition for the 10th time in 11 years.
But it is not just on the domestic stage where he has excelled – he is a decorated England youth international, having played 88 times for various youth levels having first appeared for his country’s under 16s.
He has won a whopping 31 U-21 caps having worked his way through the age groups and more time with his parent club could help in his quest for full honours.
Credit: Fred Nathan www.thesun.co.uk
Chalobah has since been in the Chelsea first team squad under Antonio Conte and was an unused substitute in the loss against Arsenal at the Emirates last weekend and was used as a substitute for Willian in the 89th minute in the 2 – 0 victory against Hull yesterday.
Chalobah is still eligible to play for Sierra Leone.