A few weeks ago, L’Equipe reported Watford were one of a handful of clubs interested in signing Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah. The 22-year-old has since impressed Thomas Tuchel in preseason, capping off preparations for the upcoming campaign with a stellar performance in the UEFA Super Cup. However, if the Blues are willing to let Chalobah head out on yet another loan to further his development, the Hornets should do everything possible to ensure Vicarage Road is his destination.
Two Birds With One Stone
Signing Chalobah would solve multiple issues for Watford. The Club’s search for midfield reinforcements is well documented, especially as Will Hughes and Trevoh’s older brother Nathaniel have uncertainties about their Vicarage Road futures. Hughes departing leaves a void in the deep-lying midfield role, a position in which the younger Chalobah thrives. His Championship loan spells with Ipswich Town in 2018/19 and Huddersfield Town the season following saw him starring as a number six. His performances earned him a loan move to Ligue 1 side Lorient.
Chalobah played a key role in their successful quest for French top-flight survival. However, instead of solely lining up as a defensive midfielder, for the second half of the season, he played as a center-back. For Chelsea in the Super Cup, Chalobah also played as a center-back, showing his positional adaptability.
Watford’s center-back depth is a cause for concern. With only five senior center-backs, one of whom has never played above the fourth tier of English football and another who is set to miss time around the start of the new year thanks to AFCON, any injuries would automatically put Watford in a scenario where there is a risk of not having enough natural center-backs. And, considering Watford primarily signed Mattie Pollock as a player for the future for the heart of the defense, the Hornets are yet to considerably improve their central-defender ranks since promotion. Perhaps they will not need to, though operating under the assumption everyone will remain fully fit all season and in good-enough form is risky.
If Chalobah were to sign, he would alleviate Watford’s quest for both a deep-lying midfielder and a center-back. If signed on loan by the Hornets, Chelsea would not have to worry about him not receiving enough playing time as he has the talent to start most matches throughout the season, whether it be at center-back or in the midfield. The loan move is ideal for all parties involved.
Super Cup Success
As mentioned, Chalobah starred in Chelsea’s victory over Villareal in the UEFA Super Cup. He played the full 120 minutes, performing so well that after the match, Tuchel claimed, “He never lost face and stayed calm and was physical enough to play 120 minutes. It was quite impressive. He forced his way into our thinking. Let’s see how it goes. We still have some days to decide his personal future, but in the moment, he shows his value to the team.”
Chalobah performed so well in preseason and the Super Cup to the point where Tuchel had to admit he could be included in Chelsea’s senior squad for the 2021/22 campaign. Even though that is unlikely considering their depth in all positions and a loan move would once again benefit Chalobah’s development, to have Tuchel admit Chalobah is giving him a selection headache is one of the best plaudits the former England U21 international team player could receive.
In the match against former Watford player Etienne Capoue’s current club, Chalobah attempted 140 passes with 95% pass accuracy, won five duals, made five interceptions, gave away zero fouls, and was not dribbled past in the entirety of the match. Any team in Watford’s position would be more than wise to secure his services for the upcoming campaign if the opportunity is still on the table.