Vital Football

Latest Watford FC News

In profile: Nathaniel Chalobah

In profile: Nathaniel Chalobah

With the help of a chap called Phil, the man behind the @ChelseaYouth account on Twitter, Vital Watford bring you the lowdown on our new loanee Nathaniel Chalobah.

First and foremost, where is he most comfortable - centre-back or holding midfield?


This is an interesting question, because I'm inclined to say both, depending on what you want from him. Long-term, I see him being a central defender; he'll have the physique, athleticism, and all the abilities necessary to be a very good one. At youth level though, he's too capable of impacting the game in attack to be 'wasted' back there and so we've seen him used in defensive, central, and attacking midfield roles.

At Watford it'll be 'easier' to use him in midfield, but I'm hoping to see him at the back because that's where he'll be best.

What are Chalobah's strengths and weaknesses?

He's gifted athletically; not the most dominant size on the pitch but he's quick and agile and strong and that allows him to shadow and mark very closely yet also cover and get to balls first, as well as the obvious physical battles. Don't mark him out as an athlete though; he's composed on the ball, a good, adventurous passer and willing recepient of the ball in order to dictate play.

The main weakness I've seen in him so far has been a side-effect of playing at youth level; he switches off and becomes a bit complacent. If things are easy for him and there's not a challenge, per se, he can get a bit sloppy and/or lose the impact he has on things. He's thrived when he's had to step up for his team and provide something, which is perhaps his biggest strength countering his glaring weakness. Hopefully Watford and The Championship provides a regular challenge and gets the best out of him.

Chalobah made his Chelsea U18's debut at 14 - he comes highly-rated then!?

One of our most exciting prospects in years. Played for the first-team in pre-season matches (one away to Ajax) as a 15 year-old and was on the first team bench later the same season. Chelsea regularly play youngsters up the age groups but he's one of a select group to be a regular at Under-21/Reserve level whilst still a schoolboy and he did so firmly on merit.

How far can Chalobah go - will we be seeing him in the first-team squad in the future?

If he hits it off at Watford, I wouldn't be massively surprised to see it happen later this season or early next If he wasn't away on loan he might've been playing in the Capital One Cup against Wolves. It might be a little longer until he starts making the strides Ryan Bertrand has made recently, for example, but Ryan's 23 Nathaniel's not 18 until December, so he's got time firmly on his side

If you had to compare Chalobah to one current, established player - whom?

Tough one. I heard a decent comparison last season when Phil Jones' name was raised; they can both play centre-back and midfield and, if needed, do a job at full-back. Jones is bigger and stronger right now whilst Nathaniel is slightly quicker and probably more assured on the ball, but they can offer the same thing to a squad. Jones is a current England international at one of the world's biggest clubs, so it's not that bad even if his stock is currently a bit lower than it was at any point last season.

Cheers Phil - let's hope he actually gets a look-in!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Saturday September 1 2012
Time: 10:42PM

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Watford Articles

Agent Confirms Watford's Aguirre Interest

Udinese's Rodrigo Aguirre, after loans in Switzerland with FC Lugano and back in his homeland of Uruguay at Nacional, has been linked with Watford, who could face competition from Roma.

Cathcart Signs New Four Year Deal

Craig Cathcart, who started out at Manchester United but joined Watford from Blackpool in 2014, after a previous loan spell with the Hornets in 2009, has signed new four year deal.

Burnley Doubts Could See Hull Reunion At Watford?

With Burnley and Hull unable to agree how an £8m fee for ex-Dundee United left back Robertson would be paid, Watford could secure the Scot - Liverpool have also been linked.

Watford Confirm Hughes' Capture

Silva's first signing as Watford boss has been confirmed as Derby's Hughes. Previously linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, the England U21 international has signed a five year deal.

Archived Vital Watford Articles

Vital Watford articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Watford
Write For Vital Watford
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Will Hughes?
Suggested By:
Great signing, potentially a bargain80%
Very good squad addition10%
Average0%
Not good enough10%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Watford Results (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.mikedrury3
2.Daniel Smith12
3.fabian11
The Vital Football Members League