Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah urges clubs to be brave over young players
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 29/08/17 11:44am
Nathaniel Chalobah believes clubs "have to be brave to play young players" after moving to Watford to secure regular football.
Chalobah enjoyed a successful loan spell at Vicarage Road during the 2012/13 season and after making just one top-flight start for Chelsea and being loaned out to five other clubs, he joined the Hornets on a five-year contract in the summer.
An impressive start to life under Marco Silva has now led to a first senior England call-up for the World Cup Qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia but the 22-year-old understands how hard it can be to break into the starting XI of a leading side like Chelsea.
"Everyone knows Chelsea is very difficult," he said. "Chelsea is a world-class club with world-class players, it was difficult for me to get in the team.
It is very difficult being young, there's a lot of pressure. Clubs have to be brave to play young players. It's the only way to gain experience
"As always I tried to stay focused and concentrated. Chelsea is in the past now.
"There's a lot of pressure on winning games and sometimes to chuck a youngster in is not an easy decision for the manager. But I felt I gave my best when I was there.
"Now I've moved to Watford I've got the opportunity to try to showcase myself. I think there's a lot of good young English players.
"It is very difficult being young, there's a lot of pressure. Clubs have to be brave to play young players. It's the only way to gain experience."
Chalobah insists he does not feel undue pressure after being called up by Gareth Southgate and seemed unfazed at becoming the first Watford player to make it into an England squad since John Barnes 34 years ago.
"Everyone feels pressure in some way, but for me it's just about keeping my head down and staying focused," he added.
"Things are going to be said, you're going to be praised, the media might try and kill you sometimes, but it's part and parcel of football.
"Things are going well at the club for me at the minute. I'm just trying to keep my head down and stay focused and hopefully try and get many more call-ups."