Express and Star journalist Luke Hatfield has revealed West Bromwich Albion were ‘really close’ to securing the services of Chelsea academy graduate Trevoh Chalobah this summer before becoming a part of the Blues’ first-team plans, speaking to Football FanCast.
After helping to keep Lorient afloat in Ligue 1 last season in his third loan spell away from Stamford Bridge, the 22-year-old was previously deemed surplus to requirements and was tipped to follow in his older brother’s footsteps by leaving the club permanently.
As per the Express and Star, Chelsea weren’t even going to demand a transfer fee in a bid to get him off the books in West London despite the versatile man having three years left on his deal at the Premier League side.
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With this, he was expected to arrive at The Hawthorns in mid-July but late interest from Premier League new boys Brentford and former loan side Lorient seemingly scuppered any move for the former England youth international, who can play as a centre-back and in the middle of the park.
However, he has unexpectedly been called up to Thomas Tuchel’s first-team squad this season, scoring on the opening day of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace and starting against Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup final earlier this month.
Speaking to Football FanCast on how close the Baggies’ deal for Chalobah was, Express and Star reporter Luke Hatfield said: “It really hurts when you see him scoring the goal he did for Chelsea on the opening day as an Albion fan because by all intents and purposes, that deal was really close to happening.”
After impressing for the Blues, many West Brom fans will be wondering what could have been, with a potential move for Chalobah unlikely to resurface between now and the end of the transfer window.
With Romaine Sawyers leaving for Stoke City and Matt Clarke out for a lengthy period of time after sustaining an injury, having a versatile player like Trevoh Chalobah would have only gone on to strengthen their squad at this moment in time.
After fitting in Tuchel’s system well at Chelsea this season, Valerien Ismael would have seen the 22-year-old slot in seamlessly in his own three-at-the-back formation and it would’ve been a major coup to secure him on a free transfer this summer.
At 22, there is still plenty of time for the Chelsea man to develop so it would be interesting to see whether the Baggies would reignite their interest in him if they regain promotion to the Premier League and he falls out of favour at Chelsea again.
If he continues to impress at Stamford Bridge, they may not get the opportunity to sign him again but the Championship club could possibly benefit from bringing in a central midfielder and a centre-back before the end of this month, on top of the striker they already require.
From the funds they generated from Matheus Pereira’s sale, they definitely have the resources to bring in their top targets. But will missing out on Chalobah prove to be costly at the end of the season? Maybe not, the West Midlands side are flying right now.