Chelsea youngster Trevor Chalobah admitted he was surprised when Thomas Tuchel informed he wanted him to stay at the club this season. Having spent the last three seasons on loan at Ipswich, Huddersfield and Lorient, Chalobah was expected to be sent out on loan considering the squad depth.
The youngster was rewarded his first senior debut for Chelsea against Crystal Palace after impressing Tuchel in the pre-season and in the UEFA Super Cup win against Villarreal. Chalobah grabbed the opportunity with both hands by scoring a goal on his debut after being named in the starting XI in the season opener.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official website Chalobah said he was surprised to see his name in the starting XI against Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup. He added “It’s been a great start and it was a complete surprise. I’d played in the pre-season games, got good minutes and did well, but it was a final and you expect the manager to play the senior players. I only found out when I saw the team sheet a few hours before the game and my name was in the starting line-up, I was over the moon. To play in a final, especially a European final, to go and win it as well, was just unbelievable.”
“Going into penalties you never know how it’s going to go and it was a nervous moment, but the boys were confident when they went up to take them. I was next to take a penalty after Rudiger, but then Kepa saved theirs so all the pressure got taken off.”
On asked about the Premier League debut against Crystal Palace, the youngster said “I just couldn’t believe it. It’s every kid’s dream to play in the Premier League, that was my dream for years, being a ball boy, going to watch games, seeing Champions League nights at Stamford Bridge. Starting my first-ever game for the club at the Bridge is a moment I can never forget and then I topped it off with a goal, which was obviously a very nice feeling.”
“I wouldn’t have shot from there very often. Most of my goals have been in the box, a header or a tap in, but as it came to me I could hear the fans saying ‘shoot’ and that’s the only reason I did it. I didn’t know it had gone in until I heard them cheering. That’s when I dropped to my knees, I just couldn’t believe it.”
“It was everything from when I came here when I was eight, all those memories just flashed through my mind, the loans and all the hard work I’ve done and the sacrifices I’ve made. Everything came together and it was just like ‘wow, I’ve scored at Stamford Bridge’. It was amazing. It took at least a week to sink in.”
“There were a lot of messages from my friends and family afterwards, some nice messages from fans as well, my phone froze at one point! My family know all the hard work I’ve put in and they were telling me it’s paying off and saying they were relieved because they knew I was good enough but had to wait for my chance.“
Speaking on first team experience Chalobah said “I spoke to the manager between the Palace and Arsenal games and he told me he wanted me to stay, so I moved over to the first-team building that week. Before that I was changing over at the Academy, but now I’ve fully moved over. It was a nice feeling when the manager told me. He spoke to me after training and told me how well I’d done, that I’d taken my chance in pre-season and in the games. He said he thinks I can be a good asset to the team and learn from the other players and support them.”
“Even until the day he told me I didn’t really believe it would happen. Even after the Super Cup I thought he’d probably want me to go on loan. After the Palace game it was a bit half-and-half, but until he pulled me into the office and gave me the news I couldn’t really believe it.”
On asked about the manager, Chalobah said “He said he already knew what I was like from my time on loan at Lorient. We played at PSG away in the first half of last season when he was there. I came on for the second half and did really well so that’s when he first saw me.”
“At the start of pre-season my main thought was just to get myself fit, to be ready to go if a loan club came in for me, but at the same time to give it my all to try and impress the manager. Then the manager liked me and gave me minutes in the friendly games and I did well. It was just about taking my chances.”
“He’s been very helpful. He’s always told me what I need to do, especially on the pitch, when you do something wrong you need to correct. As a player that’s what you want, you need that to improve. That guidance is really important.”
Source: Chelsea FC