Chelsea’s trio of Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker started for England’s U21 side against Norway in Euro U21 qualifying. Each of them would score in the Young Lions 6-1 win.
Nathaniel Chalobah added to his record number of caps for England, taking the pitch for the 88th time with the U21 squad against Norway. Chalobah first appeared for England as a 13-year old on the U16 side in 2008. Since then he has represented England up to the U21 level.
Chalobah scored England’s second goal, unleashing a cannon of a volley into the roof of the net off of a free kick. Norway’s goalie had no chance of stopping Chalobah’s strike.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek opened the second half scoring, and England never looked back. England’s No. 10 and Chelsea’s striker-in-training was at the end of a solid passing play among England’s forwards. Loftus-Cheek ended up with the ball in an unforgivable amount of space right on the 18-yard box. Loftus-Cheek one-timed a right-footer to the bottom left corner of Norway’s goal.
Lewis Baker concluded England’s day in the 86th minute. He ran a nearly a full circle around the mass of players in the box awaiting a Jared Ward-Prowse corner kick. He found the perfect spot to get a heel on the ball, which bounced into the far corner.
The strong result by Chelsea’s England U21 adds to the post-international break momentum when the squad reassembles this week ahead of playing Swansea City. Diego Costa scored twice for Spain earlier in the week, adding to his early-season scoring prowess.
Chalobah’s strike will increase the calls for Antonio Conte to finally introduce the patient midfielder to first-team action. Remarkably (or not, depending on your perspective), he has yet to make a first-team appearance for Chelsea. Having joined Chelsea at age 8, he represented the Blues at every level up to U21. His first-team experience has come entirely on loan in the Championship, the Eredivisie and in the Premier League at Burnley.
Loftus-Cheek’s goal and assist showed both the playmaking and finishing instincts that seem to define his transition from a youth No. 10 to Conte’s striker of the future. Lewis Baker will return from international duty to the Netherlands to continue his season at Vitesse.