Few teams can claim to have as many young players impressing out on loan as Chelsea right now, and whilst this is undoubtedly something to celebrate, the sheer number of players they have competing for places already will likely to lead to several talented youngsters leaving the club to gain first team football at some stage.
It would be especially painful if that involved a player going to a Premier League rival like Arsenal, but that could be the situation they face this summer with the Gunners rumoured to be lining up a move for Nathaniel Chalobah.
The 18 year old, who can play across the back four and also in midfield, has been tipped as one of the best prospects at Stamford Bridge, and has been excellent under Gianfranco Zola on loan at Watford this season, helping the Hornets gain their current lofty position in the Championship, just two points off the automatic promotion places.
Chalobah has also impressed for the England U21 side despite his relative youth, and could well now consider himself worthy of a starting place next season. This is unlikely to be granted at Chelsea, whose squad is already full of world class players in every position. Chalobah might well look at Josh McEachran, another talented midfielder who has continued to go out on loan to gain first team football, as an indication of what he could expect if he stayed at Chelsea.
Arsenal, with their record of blooding youngster in the first team, would be an attractive prospect if they came in for Chalobah, and there would be no doubt that he has a better chance of top level football at the Emirates than at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are aware of the danger of losing Chalobah, and are apparently preparing a new contract offer to try and stave off interest. However a new contract will not change the fact that Chalobah is highly unlikely to feature regularly for the Blues in the next couple of seasons, and that could be the biggest factor in his decision this summer.
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