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Karanka talks Chalobah -- and warns the Blues that their loanees aren't guaranteed anything

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Tom Dulat

After Nathaniel Chalobah's loan to Middlesbrough was announced, there was some question over where exactly the 19-year-old would be playing. He's versatile enough to play as a defender or a midfielder, and although he's gone through the transition to midfield over the past couple of years, there's still a debate over where he'll ultimately end up. Regardless of how the long-term question resolves it self, the short term one has been answered:

He can play in defence and midfield but for me I think he will play in the midfield position in front of the central defenders. He’s the kind of player who has the attributes to be a top player but he needs to improve every day. He will train with us and we have the same methodology and philosophy as Chelsea.

-Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka. Source: Gazette Live.

So, mystery solved. But there's more! As most of you are aware, Aitor Karanka was Jose Mourinho's number two at Real Madrid, a staunch ally when the Special One had few at the Santiago Bernabeu. When he got the Middlesbrough job, it immediately gave Chelsea a great loan destination in the Championship, and we promptly sent him both Kenneth Omeruo and Chalobah in the hopes that he'd help them develop.

Karanka, however, has rather pointedly reminded us that his job is to win rather than help us out, and that we shouldn't be upset over a lack of playing time for the duo unless Boro are struggling and they haven't been given a chance. Frankly, I think that's a good thing -- if Chalobah and Omeruo play, it'll be on merit and not because their manager is pals with Mourinho. No complaints here.