Belfast Telegraph

Chalobah still has Chelsea dream

Nathaniel Chalobah still has aspirations of playing for Chelsea and wants to prove he is capable of making the grade at Stamford Bridge during his loan spell at Burnley.

The teenage midfielder signed for the Clarets on transfer deadline day last week on a loan deal until January, following many of his Blues team-mates in seeking first-team football away from west London.

There are over 20 players on Chelsea's books currently plying their trade elsewhere across the globe, with the likes of Ryan Bertrand, Josh McEachran and Victor Moses out on loan due to the talent ahead of them in the pecking order.

However, far from being deterred by the lack of academy prospects currently in Jose Mourinho's first team, Chalobah is keen to grasp his chance during his time with Sean Dyche's men.

"Chelsea's my club and I'd love to play for the club," Chalobah, who is yet to make a top-flight appearance, admits.

"I'm still there for the next few years but at the minute it's just about concentrating on Burnley now, and then hopefully everything will fall into place."

There had been high hopes that Chalobah could break the mould when it came to promoting from within at Stamford Bridge. He appeared on the bench as a 15-year-old for a League Cup tie in 2010 and travelled to the Champions League final in 2012 but is still yet to appear for the Blues' first team.

He will not give up on his dream of becoming a part of Mourinho's team, though, and thinks impressing with Burnley will show he is worthy of consideration alongside the likes of World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas, who arrived this summer.

"I had to go in there in pre-season and fight for a spot," he added.

"It wasn't like an issue of 'they're here now, I have to pack my bags and start leaving'. Of course not. I had to go in and compete and they're world-class players.

"It's always good to work with them anyway. Working with players like that at any club is always going to be a good experience. I took everything I could on board in pre-season and now it's up to me to take the next step."

The England Under-21 international is currently embarking on his fourth loan having experienced mixed fortunes with Watford, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough.

He was an impressive performer under Gianfranco Zola with the Hornets two seasons ago, but stagnated somewhat during two stints with two other Sky Bet Championship clubs last term.

However, still just 19, Chalobah believes that his prior experiences - both good and bad - have been pivotal in the learning process.

"In football there's always ups and downs and you've got to deal with it as best as you can," the Londoner said.

"Last year I hit a patch where I wasn't doing really well and now is a chance to redeem myself. I've just got to give everything I've got.

"You can never turn the opportunity down of playing in any competitive game as a footballer. If you love playing football you're always going to want to play games.

"Going out and getting that experience in the Championship is good for any player, but making that next step up is important for any player and I've got the opportunity to do that now."

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