The 19-year-old holding midfielder impressed during a loan spell with Watford last season, and was tipped to land another temporary stay with a Premier League club this season having played so well in the Championship, but when that failed to materialise, he moved back down to the second tier.
This time, Chalobah moved to Nottingham Forest, with high expectations and the opportunity to continue his development away from Stamford Bridge. But whereas the England Under-21 international was a roaring success under Gianfranco Zola at Vicarage Road, Chalobah struggled to make the same impact under Billy Davies, and was sent back to Chelsea earlier this week upon the expiration of his loan deal.
With Forest turning down the option to extend his loan, Chalobah needed to find playing time as his disappointing spell at the City Ground meant he wasn't going to break into Jose Mourinho's first team any time soon. Fortunately, one of Mourinho's close friends has recently taken a managerial job in England and was able to lend a hand.
Aitor Karanka – Mourinho's former assistant manager during their time at Real Madrid – was appointed Middlesbrough manager in November, and has already taken advantage of his relationship with the Chelsea boss by landing Nigerian defender Kenneth Omeruo until the end of the season.
And now, Karanka has managed to seal a deal that will see Chalobah join his squad until the summer. The move is of great benefit to all parties, as Mourinho can send one of his young stars to develop under a manager who he knows and trusts, whilst Middlesbrough get a player who has already shown that he can be a quality player at Championship level. With Boro just six points off the playoffs, the additions of Omeruo and particularly Chalobah could help Karanka's men push on as they seek to return to the Premier League.
Despite many saying that Karanka will be relying on loans from Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard refuted those claims by singling out Chalobah for praise and saying he is working with a number of clubs to try and improve his squad; “We are working on a lot of players. Just because I have a relationship with Jose, it is being said that I want 20 or more of his players. It's not true. Chalobah is a very good player. We are working with Chelsea on players, but a number of other teams too, to try to improve our squad too.”
image: © joncandy