Chalobah shows how vital he may become for Chelsea in Southampton win
Chelsea’ redemption from a string of bad results came from an unlikely source on Saturday, when young defender Trevoh Chalobah stepped up for his side against Southampton.
The Stamford Bridge side took the lead after just nine minutes in the Premier League tie, when Ruben Loftus-Cheek headed down a corner towards the far post, allowing the young defender to knock it over the line with a diving header.
Goals from Timo Werner and then Ben Chilwell confirmed all three points on the day, but fans would have taken the most delight in one of their own youth players bagging a goal.
Although defenders are rarely counted on or even valued for their ability to score goals, Thomas Tuchel would have been delighted to see the 22-year-old talent take his moment when it came.
Breaking into Chelsea’s first team
After an impressive loan spell at Lorient in Ligue 1 last season, it seemed as though Chalobah’s future at Chelsea was likely to go the way of most young players at the club: he would be loaned out again and eventually sold.
However, in the first fixture of the Premier League season, the young defender was drafted into Tuchel’s side to fill in for an injured teammate and duly took his chance with a remarkable long-range shot to make it 3-0 to Chelsea on the day.
Since then, Chalobah has earned a spot in Tuchel’s side as his go-to replacement at centre back, which could mean the young star has a bright future at the club and may soon become vital to the team.
Chelsea’s defensive problems
While Chalobah was simply brought into the starting XI on Saturday so Tuchel could rotate his squad, the young defender could prove vital to the club as the season rumbles on due to Chelsea’s problems in defence.
Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen are outstanding defenders, but they also all have contracts that are expiring at the end of the season. And it seems unlikely that Chelsea will keep all three next season.
Following Fikayo Tomori’s permanent move to Milan, that now means Chalobah is next in line to step up at centre back if Chelsea lose any of the aforementioned defenders and are unable to bring any new players to the club in January or the summer window.