After Nathaniel Chalobah missed Watford’s weekend trip to Swansea, fans were left in the dark about the former Chelsea mans injury that he sustained in training. And after Chalobah, who has already gained his first England call up this season shared a picture of himself on crutches, Hornets fans were entitled to have feared the worst after an injury plagued campaign last time round. With the official statement now reading that the 22 year old should be back ”well before the new year” this does not sounds promising at all to myself and I’m sure to many other Watford fans as well.
Having seen players suffer setbacks all too often last year you once again have to fear the worst that this injury could be prolonged and this would be a huge blow for player and club alike. First of all I don’t think Chalobah has been the complete package so far into his Watford return, the touches of class have been there to see but equally he has also been a bit flat in other moments. What is for sure is that this is a blow to a very promising player and more importantly I’m worried that this could inflict damage to everything right about Marco Silva’s side so far.
Chalobah has struck a very neat midfield partnership with Watford’s standout performer so far, Abdoulaye Docuoure. The two have anchored the midfield and been decisive in picking up the eight points from four games Watford had earned prior to Saturday. The cohesiveness, tactical discipline and interchange has given the Golden Boys a multi-dimensional foundation at the heart of the pitch. This may take up a whole new dynamic now with Chalobah’s absence.
Etienne Capoue is the obvious replacement, although the Frenchman getting hauled off at half time versus Swansea doesn’t breed confidence despite worth noting, this Watford squad has the greatest depth to it since we returned to the Premier League so no injury should drastically ring any alarms. However the worry for me is that Capoue has not hit a high enough level of form for months despite enjoying a more prolific time in front of goal. We know he has all the tools to be a highly influential player but to switch it back on will be some task, even more so when it’s clear your boss doesn’t fancy you. We saw on Saturday too many loose errors and you could argue it had an effect on Doucoure’s performance where he was below his high standards. As mentioned this reduced everything good about the sides performances previously where there was at times less fluidity and more unforced errors which invited a clueless Swansea side back into the game.
Silva is blessed with midfield options, Cleverley and Pereyra could give the head coach fresh ideas and we may see a completely different setup without Chalobah in the team. Either way this news could breed significance in the coming weeks with my confidence in Capoue low, it is certainly a blow to a player that was starting to flourish at WD18.
How big of a blow could this be Watford fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
featured image credit skysports.com