West Bromwich Albion may have the upper hand in the race for Trevoh Chalobah this summer.
That’s according to Luke Hatfield, with the Express & Star journalist claiming in an interview with This is Futbol that Albion’s willingness to offer the Chelsea midfielder regular first-team football could see the 22-year-old favour a move to The Hawthorns ahead of a Premier League side.
Interest is thought to be high in the former England U21 international this summer, with Crystal Palace and Brentford, as well as a number of other Premier League clubs, reported to be keeping a very close eye on the situation of Chalobah at Stamford Bridge.
In the interview, Hatfield stated: “It’s going to be tougher for Albion if there is Premier League interest. He’s clearly a player that they like, clearly one that they think will fit in and can do a job for them. But if there’s Premier League interest, it’s going to be tough.
“But if those Premier League teams aren’t guaranteeing him first-team opportunities as much as West Brom are, maybe he thinks development in the Championship might be better for him. He’s certainly a player Albion like and will want.”
Considering just how short of options Valerien Ismael currently is in the middle of the park, the position is certainly one in which the Frenchman will be looking to strengthen ahead of the new Championship season, with Albion set to kick off their campaign against Bournemouth in a little under two weeks’ time.
And, considering the consistently impressive performances Chalobah churned out while on loan at FC Lorient last term, the 22-year-old would certainly appear to be an impressive addition to the 45-year-old’s squad this summer.
Indeed, over his 29 Ligue 1 appearances for Christophe Pelissier’s side last season, the £3.15m-rated defensive midfielder made an average of 2.4 interceptions, 1.6 tackles and 1.9 clearances and won 5.2 duels per game.
The £12k-per-week man also impressed going forwards, scoring two goals, registering two assists and creating one big chance for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 0.5 shots and making 0.3 key passes per match.
These returns saw the player Paul Lambert dubbed a “complete” midfielder earn an average SofaScore match rating of 6.87, ranking him as Lorient’s joint fourth-best player in the top flight of French football.
As such, if regular minutes really are top of Chalobah’s list of requirements this summer, Ismael should have no issues with promising the 22-year-old that he would be a key player within the Albion side, as the midfielder very much appears to have the potential to star in the club’s push for promotion next season.
However, with time running out before the new season kicks off, the Frenchman must act sooner rather than later, or else he risks missing out on the youngster to one of the Premier League sides sniffing around the Chelsea man.