Nathaniel Chalobah, alongside fellow Chelsea youth products Lewis Baker and Tammy Abraham, will be taking on Poland later today in the final round of group games at the UEFA European U21 Championships. England need a win to guarantee their place in the semifinals of the competition after a 0-0 draw against Sweden and a 2-1 win over Slovakia so far.
Chalobah has probably been second best among the Chelsea trio, with Abraham impressing in the lone forward role but Baker, so far, disappointing by and large with his involvement and influence in England’s midfield.
In any case, ahead of today’s decisive match, Chalobah sat down for an interview with the assembled media, which has now made it into the pages of various outlets, from the Telegraph to the Express and beyond. The youngster talks about all the usual things one would expect him to talk about in this scenario, from wanting to win the Euros and ending his under-21 international career on a high note, to learning from the big names in the Chelsea squad who are ahead of him in the pecking order, to cherishing his Premier League winners’ medal he collected last season after making 10 appearances (15 in all competitions) for the club he spent several seasons away from on loan.
Still just 22, Chalobah’s return and re-integration was hailed as a great success even though he only really collected 500-odd minutes of football for the whole season. Many of those minutes came in crucial situations and while he remained firmly fourth-choice behind Kanté, Matić, and Fàbregas, the hope is that this will prove to be the first step in a long Chelsea career for the Academy product.
Amidst all that, we did forget one thing however. Chalobah’s contract is expiring next summer and while there were some rumors back in October of a new deal, nothing has been signed yet.
So perhaps we can take heart from Paul Brown story in the Express from this interview, which he assures that Chalobah “will be offered a new contract by [Chelsea] when he returns from the Euros”.
Make it so.