There is no question what the highlight of yesterday’s win over Crystal Palace was: that joyous moment when Academy graduate Trevoh Chalobah blasted the Blues 3-0 up on his Premier League debut. He spoke afterwards about that goal and the celebration that followed, as well as the graft he has put in to impress Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.
Chalobah, 22, was one of a number of players who was on loan in 2020/21 before starting work with Tuchel at the outset of pre-season with many regulars on holiday after the international break.
Tuchel admired Chalobah’s work with Lorient in France last year and has rewarded the defender with a pair of starts this week. His performance in the Super Cup was excellent and he backed it up at the Bridge, crowning a momentous few days with a spectacular long-range goal.
‘My shooting is not really good!’ laughed Chalobah. ‘But sometimes you can hit the ball and be surprised!
‘As I got closer to the goal I decided I was going to shoot. I had the space, and the crowd were getting behind me. It was perfect.
‘I didn’t know the ball had gone in! When I heard the crowd, I was like ‘wow, it must be a goal!’. I knew I hit it cleanly. The rest took care of itself!
‘I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do. I just dropped to my knees and I was crying, really. It was an amazing moment for me and my family.’
The emotion on Chalobah’s face epitomised the journey he has been on since arriving in England as a young boy. A serial winner at youth level, it is his work in recent months that has helped him reach new heights at Chelsea.
‘When I first started pre-season my aim was to impress the manager, day in, day out,’ explained Chalobah.
‘Whether that’s training, being the first in training and doing what he wants, and giving my all, that’s what I have done since day one.
‘He said I did well in the pre-season, but I was a bit surprised to start the Super Cup, but it shows my work has paid off. He has given me the opportunity and I have taken it with both hands. It’s important in football to stay consistent, stay grounded, stay hungry and always want more.
‘It’s been an amazing week,’ he added, taking in the magnitude of his achievement.
‘I have been here since I was eight, and coming to Stamford Bridge to watch games, sometimes as a ballboy, sometimes with my family, Champions League nights, so to now get the chance to play for my home club is amazing. It’s a dream for a young player like me.
‘I just wanted to enjoy it. It’s been a long-held dream to play for this club, so I made sure I was ready and enjoyed it. I wasn’t too nervous, and I just attacked it all.’
That he did, and how!