Trevoh Chalobah Interview – “My brother is my biggest idol”
Posted by Jordan Clarke | Published on August 25, 2016
The words spoken by Trevoh Chalobah were those that could doubt one’s realisation of their appreciation within their own life. Humble. A word that oozed out of everything he said. There wasn’t the mere presence of any youth within him, only the temperament of gratefulness to everything he had available to him in life. At 17, playing for Chelsea and England would be the topic of millions of young boys and girls wildest dreams, but this is Trevoh Chalobah’s lifestyle and in spite of this, he remains modest, with his sole aim to keep progressing.
Born in Sierra Leone, Chalobah moved to England as a child and joined the London club as an under-9. Eligible to play for England, Chalobah has appeared for the Three Lions at U16 and U17 level and this week, he earned himself a call-up for Keith Downing’s U19 side, who are set to play Belgium and Holland next month. With versatility one of Chalobah’s biggest assets, the 17-year-old can play all four positions along the defensive line and occasionally in midfield if needed, finding it hard to pinpoint one position for him. At just fourteen years of age, he made his under-18 debut for Chelsea, whilst still a schoolboy. Two years on at 16, Trevoh made his under-21 debut for Chelsea, proving himself at all age groups within the Chelsea set-up. In 2015/16, Chalobah featured in every game en route to another FA Youth Cup final success and became a regular in Chelsea’s Under-19s team that retained their UEFA Youth League title. He captained England Under-17s at the 2016 European Under-17 Championship before signing a first professional contract in June 2016, committing himself to the club until the end of the 2018/19 season.
The 17-year-old says his brother, Nathaniel Chalobah, was his biggest idol growing up. “Seeing him (Nathaniel) go through the stages and learning from him has been a big step in my footballing career. I’ve been learning from him and he has always given me advice”. Amongst his versatility, Trevoh found it hard to pick a player he shared a similar playing style but revealed he adapts his game with new things he learns. “I learn things from different players and I try and establish it within my game”, he said.
There’s an image created in football that despite all of Chelsea’s youth success, they’ve been incapable of maximising the potential of their youth stars, failing to pluck up the courage to take a risk, giving an academy graduate a chance against some of the best players in the Premier League. Whether that is down to Mourinho or not, it’s common knowledge Chelsea haven’t perhaps used their youth as much as they should have, however, Trevoh believes Chelsea is the best place he could be in terms of his development. “I think Chelsea is the best place for development, training day in day out with the best players and learning from each other is incredibly beneficial. The facilities here are unbelievable which helps us get the best training, recovery and other things that help us grow as a player. Having the opportunity of travelling to other countries for tournaments at such a young age has helped me grow greatly as a player. I’ve been able to experience different playing styles and alternative cultures, helping us in our journey as a young footballer.
Trevoh revealed the biggest star to offer him advice was ex-Chelsea and current Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge. “Not only did he talk about on the pitch, he told me about off of the pitch work. In order for us to get to where we are, it is important to set goals. Daniel told us how important recovery is, not staying out late, avoiding nightclubs and getting sleep. He mentioned how it’s important to cherish every moment of our footballing career and enjoy what we are doing, always remaining positive no matter the ups and downs that occur. He also said how important it is for us to stay on track and don’t let get money, cars and girls get into our heads as that could ruin our career.”
The advice that Daniel Sturridge had provided was certainly implemented into Chalobah’s mentality. Even at seventeen, the years in which most young boys are partying, Trevoh expressed remaining humble was his main priority. “I think being humble is everything, it’s what gets me going and helps me remain focused, not to get hyped up by media or anything else. I just focus on myself and what I’m doing in order for me to get where I am destined to be, my success is dedicated to myself, my family and especially to my mum who has sadly passed away but I believe that provided me with an incentive for me to push on even more because I know she is proud.”
Trevoh remains focused on reaching where he wants to be, the money, living the high life amongst the fame isn’t something he is focused on, but he wants to be remembered as one of the best, even at the subtle age of 17. “I just want to be remembered for what I’m good at. Defending. Being the best defender a club has had and letting people know what I brought to the football industry. I want to be a legend in football and that is my ultimate dream.”
Not only was speaking to Trevoh humbling, it was incredibly refreshing. Many young footballers can be tarred with the same brush, “they’re arrogant, they’re spoilt blah blah blah”, but the words spoken by Trevoh were far from this, he gave a positive image for all footballers of this age and most importantly himself and with his mindset, there is nothing he cannot achieve, and in doing so, making his mother proud, something he has always aspired to do.