Calling all Aston Villa fans; What if we told you Steven Gerrard could bring in a Diego Carlos replacement, one proven in the Premier League, brimming with potential, and capable of playing in a multitude of positions and formations, without paying a penny in transfer fees?
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, maybe not, with ESPN claiming that Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah is a candidate to fill Carlos’ boots at Villa Park. Thomas Tuchel’s side will rebuff any permanent bids. A short-term loan, however, looks like being a very different story. Especially with first-team opportunities set to be few and far between at Stamford Bridge following Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival and the ongoing interest in Leicester City colossus Wesley Fofana.
Chalobah has come a long way since a move to West Brom – Aston Villa’s near neighbours and most-despised rivals outside of Birmingham – fell through a year ago.
He played 30 games in 2021/22 alone, scored four goals, was outstanding in the UEFA Super Cup victory over Villarreal and, in short, went from fringe player to beloved utility man in the blink of an eye. Interest from Inter Milan – coupled with Tuchel’s gushing praise – speaks for itself.
Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah is the perfect Aston Villa addition
“Fantastic. He gets all the praise and it’s well deserved,” Tuchel said of a man who looked to be on his way out of West London not so long ago. “It’s fantastic these things happen in sports.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright even went as far as to compare Chalobah to arguably the finest defender in world football after a pre-season clash with Arsenal in 2021. An eyebrow-raising claim maybe. But it should not be forgotten that Virgil Van Dijk was still playing north of the border Celtic at 22 – the age Chalobah was when he caught Wright’s eye 12 months ago.
“I was thinking; ‘Wow. Maybe it’s just a pre-season friendly (but) he looks good’,” The Gunners legend said. “I watched him against Villarreal and I thought; ‘My god he’s really good’.
“You know what he reminded me of, not the same player, not the same stature, but the way Virgil Van Dijk when he played for Celtic.”
Chalobah, of course, would only be a short-term solution for Aston Villa. But that’s hardly an issue. A short-term solution is all Gerrard needs. Especially with the Villa boss suggesting that Carlos could still play again this season.
“Each day that passes he’s closer to a return,” Gerrard tells The Independent. “He’ll play again this season, for sure. We’re very confident of that.
“For sure, he’ll still play this season. And he’ll have a big chunk of the season as well.”
When you consider some of the other names linked recently – the expensive Victor Nelsson, the the error-prone Jan Bednarek for instance – Chalobah certainly ticks more boxes than most.