Nathaniel Chalobah is an 18-year-old Chelsea utility man who rivals Phil Jones at Manchester United in terms of the number of jobs he can do for a team.
Chalobah can play anywhere across the back four and he can also play defensive roles in the midfield, which are probably the reasons Arsenal are looking to sign him from beneath the noses of their West London rivals.
Chalobah is currently on loan at Watford in the Championship, in fact he’s one of the only loan players at the club who isn’t from Udinese.
The effect he’s had at Watford means he is going back to Chelsea with an extremely elevated and improved profile. He’s started 25 matches for Watford in the league this season and he’s come off the bench twice. He’s also bagged four goals.
It’s that utility role, that versatility and the ability to do it all over a long period of time which means Chelsea would be stupid not to wrap him up in cotton wool as soon as he gets back to the Bridge.
If Arsenal are interested in him, or if any other side want him, Chelsea need to make it as difficult as possible for them. The way they do this is making him unbuyable and if his career continues the way it’s started, it won’t be too long before he becomes just that.
If a certain Frank Lampard is not kept on at the club then there will be a hole in the Chelsea squad for another midfield player to come in and fill.
Chalobah is not even close to Lampard’s level at the moment but all over the best players have to start somewhere and the fact Chalobah has a full season of Championship football under his belt could make the difference.
The biggest asset Arsenal have at their disposal is Arsene Wenger and the fact that there is no guarantee Chalobah won’t spend the next two or three season out on loan at different clubs.
Wenger has a proven history of taking players like Chalobah and turning them into superstars. It’s just unfortunate for Arsenal that when they reach that point, they get sold on again.
Chalobah looks set for a long, consistent and gifted career for club and country so Chelsea need to make sure it’s with them and no other club.
Would you give him a chance or let him leave?
image: © Jason Bagley