I was brave to leave Chelsea, says England's Chalobah

Chelsea is a difficult place for young players to establish themselves, says new England call-up Nathaniel Chalobah.

Nathaniel Chalobah: "It's a tough place Chelsea, top club, and I think that sometimes you can get a bit carried away with being there."   -  Getty Images

Nathaniel Chalobah feels his "brave" decision to leave Chelsea has paid off and believes Stamford Bridge is a "tough place" for young players to be.

The 22-year-old won his first England call-up last week to face Malta and Slovakia in World Cup qualifying after impressing for Watford in the early stages of this season.

Chalobah joined Marco Silva's side from Chelsea for a reported £5million in July after only starting once in the Premier League for the reigning champion during a stay that saw him loaned out six times.

And after becoming the first permanent Watford player to be called up since John Barnes 30 years ago, the midfielder feels it is further evidence he made the right call.

"I would definitely say it was the toughest decision I've had to make," Chalobah told reporters. "I had been at Chelsea my whole life. I had been there 12 years and Chelsea was all I knew, the club that I loved and supported as well so for me it was a very hard decision.

"It takes a lot [to decide to leave]. I think 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 for me that was not what the problem was.

"The problem was that I wanted to play, after getting a taste of it last year, I needed to go out and try and do better things for myself. So yeah, I think you really have to be brave, and sometimes decisions can be hard to make.

"It's a tough place Chelsea, top club, and I think that sometimes you can get a bit carried away with being there.

"You are on the brink, on the brink, almost there, and it's very hard when you have got established players who come in and they have got the experience already. In my situation or a youngsters' situation if you don't have the experience it is a lot harder to get into the team, so it was a matter of me judging the situation and seeing what the best options were."

He added: "Yeah I guess [the England call-up means the move has paid off], that was the aim really, to leave and try and get game time somewhere else, and I am just very pleased and happy that things are going well.

"I had been on a few loans and back and forth. I was never really settled and for me it was more a case of trying to find somewhere to be really settled and try to find somewhere to call home. And I was finding it difficult to do that at Chelsea even though I was there for the whole season, and played a few games."


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