Many Watford supporters have been focusing on the future of Will Hughes. As previously reported, the former Derby County star is entering the final year of his Watford contract and talks of an extension have not progressed. The main focus is on him as he has progressively become one of the Hornets’ top performers since his arrival in 2017, performing notably well in the club’s push for promotion. However, Watford’s captain for last season’s run-in, Nathaniel Chalobah, finds himself in a similar situation.
Nathaniel Chalobah Contract Status
Similar to Hughes on Paper
As reported by Adam Leventhal of The Athletic, Chalobah has been offered a new Watford contract. Like Hughes, Chalobah is also considering his options before coming to a final decision. Unlike Hughes’ offer, which includes a significant increase in pay, Chalobah’s offer sees him on a similar salary as before.
Thus, both midfielders who played a pivotal role in the Hornets’ push for promotion are contemplating moves elsewhere. However, Chalobah seems the more probable of the two to remain at Vicarage Road for multiple reasons.
Nathaniel Chalobah the Likelier of the Two to Stay
Since joining Watford from Chelsea in 2017, Chalobah has not always impressed. Lots of this goes down to an injury he sustained just six matches into his time at Watford, one which he felt the repercussions of for over one season. Many of his appearances before Watford’s relegation but post-injury were thus, in general, lacklustre and off-the-pace. He was not part of the Doucoure-Capoue-Hughes midfield which nearly helped steer Watford clear of the drop in 2019/20 – the one part of the pitch where Watford had sustained success (compared to others) throughout the season.
Thus, upon relegation, Chalobah did not have many, if any, suitors. Even for much of the first half of the Championship campaign, Chalobah did not portray the qualities of the bright Chelsea youngster of a few seasons ago. However, following Xisco Munoz’s appointment as head coach and soon after Chalobah’s winning of the captaincy, his performances significantly improved.
Nonetheless, Hughes’ consistently good performances make him the wanted Watford midfielder. Also, unlike Hughes, Chalobah has been in training alongside the first team trying to recover fitness. Considering a Chalobah sale would also see the Hornets receive significantly fewer funds than a Hughes departure, the club will feel less inclined to settle for a cut-rate transfer fee for the former England international team player.