Trevoh Chalobah is set to leave Chelsea on loan before the transfer window closes despite impressing Thomas Tuchel during pre-season, football.london understands.
Chalobah, who has been with the Blues since he was eight years old, was included in the makeshift squad that reported back to Cobham on July 12 to work under the German coach, who was without 18 senior players due to the European Championship and Copa America.
Chelsea’s star names have since returned from their holidays but Chalobah has remained with the first-team group and featured in every pre-season game.
The 22-year-old has been used as a centre-back by Tuchel, both on the right and in the middle of the back three. It’s a position he often played during his time in the club’s academy but not one he’s been regularly used in during his loan spells away from Stamford Bridge.
During the previous campaign at Lorient, for instance, Chalobah was used as a six and was hugely important in ensuring the club avoided relegation from Ligue 1.
Yet the academy graduate’s work throughout pre-season and performances in defence against the likes of Bournemouth, Arsenal and Tottenham have caught Tuchel’s eye, as he explained after the 2-2 draw with Spurs on Wednesday.
“We know him from Lorient and Chalo has done very well in pre-season,” the Chelsea head coach explained. “We wanted to continue in the back three, so there was space in the back until [Kurt] Zouma and Toni [Rudiger] arrived.
“Then there was one space left but then Andreas Christensen, Reece [James] and Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] are back then there is a huge competition for him. He’s done very well in both games and within his potential and limits that was nice to see.”
As highlighted by Tuchel, Chelsea are not short of centre-back options. A deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde also continues to be worked on by the club.
football.london understands the number of central defenders currently on Chelsea’s books is why Chalobah has been told he can leave Stamford Bridge on loan. First-team minutes simply couldn’t be guaranteed.
Chalobah won’t be short of suitors as clubs across Europe, including in Ligue 1, La Liga and the Premier League, have registered interest.
A sticking point may be the position they plan to use him in, however, with Chelsea keen on Chalobah getting regular minutes as a centre-back.
As things stand, Azpilicueta, Silva, Christensen and Rudiger are all out of contract next summer. Talks to extend the contracts of the latter two are ongoing but no agreements have been reached.
A full campaign in which he has played as a central defender would give Chalobah – who hasn’t been named in the initial Chelsea squad for the Super Cup – every opportunity of claiming a first-team spot next summer.
That is, of course, on the assumption that Tuchel remains at the club.
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Source by Football London