Nathaniel Chalobah, now of Watford, who made the switch this summer from Chelsea, says he needed to leave the club to do better things for himself, and has justified that with his recent call up to national side.
Chalobah had the decision to sign a new deal with the champions, and as a result go on loan for this campaign, but he didn’t want another loan move, and looked for a permanent move elsewhere. He then secured a £5.5 million to Watford to gain regular Premier League football.
“It takes a lot to leave. You have to really look deep into yourself and see what makes you happy. For me I was at a top club and people were saying to me, ‘You are at Chelsea; you should stay at Chelsea, a big club.’ But that was not the problem. The problem was I wanted to play after getting a taste of it last year.
‘I needed to go out and try to do better things for myself. You really have to be brave and sometimes decisions can be hard to make, especially when it is your future at stake. I had my family and friends and my agent, who is an ex-footballer himself and played a big part in it.’
The midfielder expressed his respect for his former boss Antonio Conte, who came out to say he was disappointed to lose Chalobah.
‘I have a lot of respect for the manager. I had a few discussions with him and he was always honest with me, which is what I needed at the time.’
‘He gave me the opportunity that a lot of other managers hadn’t given me at Chelsea and for that I will forever be grateful. I have no bad things to say about the manager really.’
The 22-year-old had been on loan at several sides in the Premier League, the Championship and even abroad. However, Chalobah stated he didn’t want to go on loan anymore and wanted to settle down somewhere. Somewhere where he could call home.
‘I’d been on a few loans, back and forth. But I was never really settled, so it was more a case of trying to find somewhere to call home. I was finding that difficult at Chelsea even though I was there for the whole season last year and played a few games.’
He found it tough to make the decision to leave Chelsea, a club he had been at since the age of 10 and supported, but he needed game time.
‘But it was still a hard decision. Chelsea was all I knew, the club I loved and supported. But I had to put myself in the best position and that was to go out there and get opportunities to play games. It’s a tough place, Chelsea, and sometimes you can get a bit carried away with being there and being on the brink, almost there. But it’s very hard with established players ahead of you. For the youngsters it is a lot harder to get into the team. Now I can say that it was a good decision.’
We wish Nathaniel all the best at Watford.