Nathaniel Chalobah

Nathaniel Chalobah
Chalobah training with Chelsea in 2016
Personal information
Full name Nathaniel Nyakie Chalobah[1]
Date of birth (1994-12-12) 12 December 1994[1]
Place of birth Freetown, Sierra Leone
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.87 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder / Defender
Club information
Current team
Number 14
Youth career
2004–2005 Fulham
2005–2010 Chelsea
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2017 Chelsea 10 (0)
2012–2013Watford (loan) 38 (5)
2013–2014Nottingham Forest (loan) 12 (2)
2014Middlesbrough (loan) 19 (1)
2014–2015Burnley (loan) 4 (0)
2015Reading (loan) 15 (1)
2015–2016Napoli (loan) 5 (0)
2017– Watford 6 (0)
National team
2008–2009 England U16 6 (0)
2009–2011 England U17 34 (1)
2011–2012 England U19 13 (2)
2014 England U20 4 (0)
2012–2017 England U21 40 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

Nathaniel Nyakie Chalobah (born 12 December 1994) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder or a defender for Premier League club Watford.

Club career


After initially joining the academy system at Fulham, Chalobah moved to the Chelsea academy at the age of 10.[3] During the 2010–11 season, he featured for Chelsea reserves while still a schoolboy, winning the national championship with the team that season.[4] In 2011–12, Chalobah regularly captained both Chelsea's reserve and youth teams, and led the 2012 FA Youth Cup winning team.[4] He signed a professional contract with Chelsea in January 2012 shortly after turning 17, lasting until summer 2014.[4] He was an unused substitute for the Chelsea first-team at the age of 15, in their League Cup clash against Newcastle[5] and travelled with them to the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final in Munich, which Chelsea won. On 30 August 2013, Chalobah signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, stating that he wishes to stay at Chelsea for his entire career.[6]

Loan to Watford

Chalobah signed on loan for Championship club Watford on 31 August 2012 until January 2013.[7] He made his first-team debut for the club on 18 September 2012 against Brighton & Hove Albion, coming on as 73rd-minute substitute for Fernando Forestieri.[8] He later made his first start, lasting the full 90 minutes in Watford's 2–2 draw with Bristol City on 23 September.[9] On 17 November, Chalobah scored his first goal for Watford in a 2–1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.[10] He scored his second goal for Watford in a 1–1 draw against Burnley, on 15 December, with a fine volley from the edge of the box.[11]

On 2 January 2013, Chalobah extended his loan at Watford until the end of the 2012–13 season. In April, he scored his fifth goal of the season with a 30-yard shot that Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said he never saw; Watford won 2–1.[12]

Chalobah played for Watford as they reached the 2013 Championship play-off Final, in which they were defeated 1–0 by Crystal Palace.[13]

Loan to Nottingham Forest

On 19 September 2013 Chalobah signed a loan deal with Nottingham Forest until 15 January 2014.[14] Manager Billy Davies remarked upon his arrival, "He's a tremendous young talent."[15] Chalobah made his debut from the start in Forest's trip to Doncaster Rovers on 21 September 2013.[16] On 5 October 2013, Chalobah was sent off after a second booking in the 67th minute after already picking up a yellow in the first half during the away match against Brighton & Hove Albion. Though Forest were down to 10 men, they saw out a 3–1 victory.[16] Chalobah scored his first Forest goal in a 3–1 defeat away to Yeovil Town on 26 October 2013.[17]

Loan to Middlesbrough

On 16 January 2014, Chalobah joined Middlesbrough on loan for the remainder of the 2013–14 season.[18] On 25 January 2014, Chalobah made his debut against Leicester City, coming off the bench in the 77th minute to replace Emmanuel Ledesma.[16] The match ended in a 2–0 loss for Middlesbrough.[16] Chalobah made his first start on 1 February 2014, in a match against Doncaster Rovers which ended in a 0–0 draw.[16] On 5 April 2014, Chalobah scored his first Boro goal in a 1–0 win at home to Derby County.[19]

Loan to Burnley

On 1 September 2014, Chalobah joined Premier League newcomers Burnley on loan from Chelsea until 2 January 2015.[20] On 28 September 2014, Chalobah made his debut as a first-half substitute against West Bromwich Albion, although he could not prevent Burnley from losing 4–0.[16] On 30 September, Chalobah suffered an injury after being hit with an elbow in the throat in a Burnley U21s match, which caused a cartilage to fracture.[21][22] Chalobah returned to the pitch for the first team on 18 October 2014 against West Ham United.[16] On 1 November 2014, Chalobah played his last match for Burnley against Arsenal, which ended in a 3–0 loss.[16]

Chalobah was unable to break into the first team at Burnley and returned to Chelsea when the loan ended on 2 January 2015. During his time with Burnley, Chalobah only made 4 substitute appearances with a total of 65 minutes on the pitch.[23]

Loan to Reading

On 22 January 2015, Chalobah joined Championship club Reading on loan for the remainder of the season.[24] On 24 January 2015, Chalobah made his debut in a FA Cup match against Cardiff City, as the team won 2–1 to advance into the fifth round.[25] Three days later, Chalobah made his league debut against Millwall.[25]

On 31 January 2015, in his home debut, Chalobah scored the second of a 2–0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday, helping the Royals to their first league win since December.[26] During his time with Reading, Chalobah made a total of 20 appearances and started in every appearance.[25]

Loan to Napoli

On 1 September 2015, Italian club Napoli confirmed that Chalobah had joined the club on a season long loan from Chelsea.[27] On 1 October 2015, Chalobah made his Napoli debut in a UEFA Europa League tie against Legia Warsaw.[2] The fixture resulted in a 2–0 victory for the Italian team, with Chalobah featuring for five minutes after replacing Allan.[2] On 26 November 2015, Chalobah was given his first Napoli start in a 1–0 victory over Club Brugge in the UEFA Europa League group stage tie.[2] On 10 December 2015, Chalobah scored his first Napoli goal in a 5–2 win over Legia Warsaw, scoring Napoli's first.[2] On 6 January 2016, Chalobah finally made his Serie A debut in a 2–1 victory against Torino, replacing Marek Hamšík in the 89th minute.[2]

Chalobah went on to make four more league appearances for Napoli before returning to Chelsea at the end of the campaign.[2]

2016–17 season

In the summer of 2016, Chelsea rejected loan offers for Chalobah after new manager Antonio Conte had been impressed with Chalobah in pre-season, deciding that he should remain as part of Chelsea's first-team group.[28] Chalobah made his first-team debut on 20 September 2016, when he came off the bench to replace Michy Batshuayi in the 79th minute of a 4–2 win over Leicester City to advance to the Fourth round of the EFL Cup.[29] On 15 October 2016, on his second league appearance for Chelsea, Chalobah provided a back-heel pass to play Victor Moses through for the third goal in a 3–0 victory over Leicester City.[30]

Return to Watford

On 13 July 2017, Chalobah signed for Premier League club Watford on a five-year contract for an undisclosed fee.[31] On 26 September 2017, Chalobah was reported to have suffered a knee injury in a training session and was expected to have surgery.[32]

International career

Chalobah made his England under-16 debut at the age of 13 in October 2008, and his England under-17 debut aged 14 in July 2009. He won the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Championship and later captaining the team at the age of 15. Chalobah made his England under-19 debut in September 2011.,[33] and went on to captain them until 8 November 2012 when he was called up to the England under-21 squad for a match against Northern Ireland.[34] Chalobah made his England Under-21 debut on 13 November 2012, replacing Jordan Henderson in the 76th minute.[35]

Chalobah is also eligible to play for Sierra Leone, the country where he was born, but has stated that he has a strong affiliation to England, the country of his upbringing.[3]

In August 2017, Chalobah was named in the England squad for the first time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.[36]

Style of play

Chalobah is well known for his versatility, work-rate, and fitness levels, both in defending and attacking sense. He is described as, "Tall, athletic and can operate in either midfield or defence, being notably quick in the tackle."[37]

Personal life

Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Chalobah moved to England at the age of seven and grew up in Gipsy Hill in the London Borough of Lambeth.[3] He played football for the first time at the age of nine.[38] Chalobah attended St Andrews R.C. Primary school and further studied at Bishop Thomas Grant School in Streatham, South London.[39] His younger brother Trevoh joined Chelsea as an Under-9 and has been capped by England up to U19 level.[40]

Career statistics

As of the end of the 2017–18 season
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Chelsea 2010–11[41] Premier League 000000000000
2011–12[42] Premier League 0000000000
2012–13[13] Premier League 000000
2013–14[16] Premier League 000000
2014–15[25] Premier League 00000000
2015–16[43] Premier League 000000
2016–17[44] Premier League 1003020150
Total 10030200000150
Watford (loan) 2012–13[13] Championship 385103[lower-alpha 1]0425
Nottingham Forest (loan) 2013–14[16] Championship 12200122
Middlesbrough (loan) 2013–14[16] Championship 191191
Burnley (loan) 2014–15[25] Premier League 4040
Reading (loan) 2014–15[25] Championship 15150201
Napoli (loan) 2015–16[2] Serie A 50103[lower-alpha 2]191
Watford 2017–18[45] Premier League 60000060
Career total 109910020313012710



England U17

England U21



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  18. "Boro sign Nathaniel". Middlesbrough F.C. 16 January 2014.
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  20. "Burnley loan for Chalobah | News | Official Site | Chelsea Football Club". Chelsea F.C. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  21. "Nathaniel Chalobah Fully Recovered From Throat Injury". 30 September 2014.
  22. "Report: Nathaniel Chalobah taken to hospital with apparent throat injury". 30 September 2014.
  23. "Nathaniel Chalobah returns to Chelsea as Sean Dyche admits he did not develop 'as much as he would have liked' at Burnley". Daily Mail. London. 2 January 2015.
  24. "New loan for Chalobah". Chelsea F.C. 22 January 2015.
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Games played by Nathaniel Chalobah in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  26. "Reading 2–0 Sheffield Wednesday". 31 January 2015.
  27. "The footballer of Sierra Leone arrives on loan from Chelsea". Napoli S.S.C. 1 September 2015. Archived from the original on 3 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
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  29. "Cesc Fabregas hits two in extra-time as Chelsea advance past Leicester". ESPN FC. 20 September 2016.
  30. "Match report: Chelsea 3 Leicester City 0". Chelsea F.C. 15 October 2016.
  31. "Nathaniel Chalobah: Watford sign midfielder from Chelsea on five-year deal". BBC Sport. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  32. "Nathaniel Chalobah: Watford midfielder needs knee surgery". BBC Sport. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
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  34. . The Football Association. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  35. . The Football Association. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
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  43. "Games played by Nathaniel Chalobah in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  44. "Games played by Nathaniel Chalobah in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  45. "Games played by Nathaniel Chalobah in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
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  47. "Coady's guide to England's champions". UEFA. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
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