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Chalobah Relishes Step Up

11 September 2014

New loan signing Nathaniel Chalobah has admitted an opportunity to join Burnley was too good to turn down.

The 19-year-old signed for the Clarets on loan from Chelsea on transfer deadline day and has joined up with the squad for the first time, having returned from international duty with the England under-21 team.

The midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, had spells on loan at Championship sides Watford, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough over the last two seasons.

And the Stamford Bridge teenager is now looking forward to testing himself among the elite.

Chalobah said: “It’s been really good. All the lads have made me feel very welcomed quite quickly. Everyone in the changing room has been really friendly and so has the backroom staff.

“I’ve enjoyed it so far and I’m just looking forward to it.

“Being in the Championship over the last two years was a big learning curve for me.

“Now I’ve had the chance to come here and play in the Premier League and this is an opportunity I was never going to turn down.

“I’m looking to grasp it with both hands and it’s important for me to make the step up and compete against the best players in the world.

“I really wanted to come here and do the best I can for the club.”

The Sierra Leone-born youngster seems likely to have a watching brief as the Clarets travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

However, he remains aware of the difficulty of the challenge ahead, namely breaking into the team that earned a credible draw against Manchester United before the international break.

And Chalobah was also keen to underline the influence of manager Sean Dyche in his decision to move up north.

The midfielder added: “I’ve liked him from the first time I met him!

“He is very straightforward with me and I like that about anyone really.

“He’s brought us in, made us feel welcomed and run us through a few things at the club.

“I know I’m not just going to be able to walk in and get straight in the team who have been together for a few years really.

“I’ve got to fight for my place and that’s something I’m willing to do and make the decision hard for the manager.”

Chalobah arrived at Burnley along with fellow new loanee and England under-21 international Michael Keane.

Both were welcomed at the club by Danny Ings, who was also in the Three Lions national team squad for recent Euro 2015 under-21 qualifiers away to Lithuania and Moldova.

And Chalobah has revealed he has been speaking intensively to the Clarets forward since he sealed his switch to Lancashire.

He added: “He hasn’t had one bad word to say about the club! He had only positive things to say.

“He said there was a good bunch of lads in the changing room, that all of them were really nice people and that the football was really good and so was the training ground.

“I’ve been talking to him all week and I’ve been telling him I can’t wait to get together and get started. It’s good that I’m finally here.

“He’s probably sick and tired of me now!”

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