Seeing Nathaniel Chalobah leave Chelsea on a permanent deal to Watford has stung many Blues supporters and rightly so.
Chalobah has been with the academy since the age of ten, but 12 years later that time has come to an end after the Hertfordshire club secured his services on a five-year deal.
The 22-year-old has been one of Chelsea’s serial loanees, starting with a spell at the Hornets before times at Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough Burnley, Reading and Napoli.
But now he has moved on permanently, and that decision to chance clubs by him seems to have come down to purely footballing reasons, a breath of fresh air when it comes to younger players.
The Blues wanted to keep him, they wanted to offer him a new deal to keep him at the club, but with the imminent arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Chalobah new that his playing time might well be limited once again.
Another loan deal? While many Chelsea fans might have want that to happen, for Chalobah he wants security over his future in what is a crucial time in his career.
Chalobah needs game time, he needs to be given the chance on a regular basis, this season more than ever.
This is a World Cup year with Russia just around the corner and England’s midfield options are definitely not decided. Gareth Southgate is a big fan of Chalobah and a decent season would mean an outside shot for a spot in the squad.
Would he even have a chance if he’d stayed at Chelsea? Probably not and now is the age that he should be looking to kick on and force his way into those plans.
Marco Silva is bound to give him his chance, and with a midfield of Will Hughes, Tom Cleverly and now their fellow Englishman it looks like a good time to be a Hornets supporter.
For Chelsea fans, what hurts the most is seeing their academy prospects walking out the door one by one in the last few weeks. Ola Aina is off to Hull City on loan, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek spending next season at Crystal Palace.
Nathan Ake made the permanent move to Bournemouth, and with Chalobah off as well the players that fans have watched grow through the club will be playing elsewhere.
It’s a tough one to watch, however the fact there is a buy-back clause in Chalobah’s contract gives them hope of a return for the midfielder and avoid the farce of the Romelu Lukaku debarcle.
In today’s market, just over £5m for Chalobah is an incredible deal for Watford, even if he did just have one year left on his contract and Chelsea fans will have to live with it.
It will sting, it will hurt but if you look at it in the cold light of day Chalobah has made a brave move, but it is absolutely the right decision that he’s made.