Not all the news can be happy this summer, and this will only be the first of what will likely be several departures: Nathaniel Chalobah has returned to England and Chelsea after his loan with Napoli expired. Chalobah seemed somewhat sad about that outcome, taking to his Facebook page to bid the fans and his now-former teammates farewell.
Sad day for me leaving behind my team mates and an amazing city after 8 months of working together. A year of good memories and bad, but luckily for me I was surrounded by a group of guys who were like my family, and a city that embraced me into their arms and their culture. I've left behind friends for life. A club and a city that will always be in my heart. Thank you to everyone who helped make Naples my home and good luck for the coming season.
The 21 year old midfielder was only with Napoli for one season and only played nine matches with the team, but he made a profound impact on the squad and the fans while he was here. Chalobah started twice for the club in the Europa League group stage and put in eye-opening performances both times, including scoring a crucial goal against Legia Warsaw at the San Paolo. He also appeared to forge a strong friendship with several of his teammates, especially with Dries Mertens and with fellow midfielder Jorginho.
Despite those impressive outings and close bonds, though, he was only used sparingly as a sub in the league, and between that and the acquisition of Alberto Grassi in January, it appears that there was no place for Chalobah in the squad moving forward.
It's a bittersweet outcome, as while Chalobah will be deeply missed by some of his teammates and a section of the fanbase who were completely behind him -- myself included -- hopefully this means he'll get an opportunity to play with a club who can give him more playing time so he can fully blossom into the significant talents he flashed while he was in Italy. It's a shame that his development won't continue in Naples, but sometimes that's just how the game works.
Best of luck to you in the future, Nathaniel. We hope your career shines bright, and that some day you get the chance to make the San Paolo sing again.