First Team 26/08/2017

Chalobah | “Realisation Of A Dream”

It's been 30 long years since a Watford player was last called up to a full England squad. 

Nathaniel Chalobah's invitation to join Gareth Southgate's England group for qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia has prompted a reaction from Hornets' fans which challenges the idea that pulling on an England shirt means less than it once did. 

Since the news went public the midfielder's phone has been abuzz with congratulatory tweets and texts, and Chalobah, capped almost 100 times along the Three Lions' youth pathway, can't wait to make the step into senior international football.  

“I'm absolutely buzzing, I'm ecstatic,” he said, speaking from the Hornets' London Colney training ground. 

“I got the text and was smiling from ear to ear. It's a realisation of a dream, it's all happening quite fast really. It hasn't hit me yet. I need to call my family and speak to them. They'll be over the moon! 

“I've got a lot of thank-yous to say to a lot of people but the focus is this weekend [v Brighton], we've got to get that out of the way first.”


97 #YoungLions appearances. It's time to step up. Welcome to the squad, @chalobah. 👊

A post shared by England (@england) on

Chalobah expects a familiar atmosphere when he arrives at England's St George's Park next week. 

“I've worked with a few of the boys in the Under-21s, so I don't think there will be any problem with the transition and settling in.

“I think Gareth has always made the environment as friendly as possible and the lads have always been like that as well, even when we saw them [the first-team] around St George's Park.

And as the impromptu post-training chat comes to an end, Chalobah's parting words sum up his feelings on what could prove to be a pivotal summer in the 22-year-old's career. 

“I need to catch my breath. When you write it up, just say that - I'm lost for words.”

Head Coach Marco Silva feels Chalobah’s call-up to the senior England squad is testament to the hard work and talent of the Hornets’ midfielder.

Chalobah won a record 97 caps at youth level for England but he now gets the chance to stake a claim for a full cap after graduating to Gareth Southgate’s team on the back of two impressive performances in the Golden Boys’ midfield against Liverpool and Bournemouth.

“First of all congratulations to him,” said Silva.

“For the boy it’s good news as it’s one target in his mind, one goal for his career. It’s fantastic for him that he has achieved this. I’m sure he will go there and work hard like he does here. He’s worked hard for this.”

The call-up is also a feather in the cap for the club who are celebrating the first call-up by a permanent member of the squad since John Barnes in 1987.

“It’s a very good moment for the club,” added Silva. “It shows we did a good move [in signing Chalobah from Chelsea] and it’s important for the club and our fans as well. We need to continue to work with him.”

England, who have a two-point lead in World Cup Qualifying Group F with four qualifying matches left, face Malta on September 1 and Slovakia at Wembley three days later.

First Team 25/08/2017

International | Chalobah Selected By England

Brice Dja Djédjé and new signing André Carrillo have been added to the list of Watford players selected for international duty.

Ivory Coast have called up Dja Djédjé for their World Cup qualifying double-header with Gabon, while Carrillo will represent Peru as they take on Bolivia and Ecuador.

Nathaniel Chalobah has received his first call-up to the senior England squad for the forthcoming World Cup Qualifying Group F fixtures against Malta and Slovakia.

The 22-year-old becomes the first permanent Watford player to be selected for a Three Lions squad since John Barnes in 1987.

Gareth Southgate's men will face a trip to Malta on Friday September 1 before hosting Slovakia at Wembley Stadium on Monday September 4 (both 7.45pm kick-offs).

Five further Watford players will head off to represent their countries in World Cup qualifying action following this weekend's game against Brighton.

Sebastian Prödl and Daniel Bachmann are both included in Austria’s squad for Group D matches against Wales and Georgia.

Craig Cathcart is back involved for Northern Ireland, who play San Marino and Czech Republic in Group C, while Costel Pantilimon’s Romania face Group E ties against Armenia and Montenegro.

Meanwhile, Nordin Amrabat has been selected by Morocco ahead of their double-header with Mali in African Group C.