Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has thanked his former club for "trying to look after" his current side Watford.

The Hornets reaped the benefits of Nathaniel Chalobah's services last season and despite being unable to afford the player this summer, the Blues have loaned the Championship side fellow England Under-21 international Josh McEachran.

Zola said: "We still have very good contact with Chelsea and Chelsea try to look after us as well so a big thank you to them."

The Italian previously stated Chalobah was keen to return to Vicarage Road before the rising star joined Championship rivals Nottingham Forest on loan.

Chalobah signed a new five-year deal with Chelsea at the end of August which is reportedly worth in the region of £30,000 to £35,000 a week.

And Zola said: "I think wages were very important [in Chalobah not signing]. Nathaniel is not the same player he was last year in many ways so it was difficult for us to make the deal happen."

But Zola was delighted with the addition of McEachran although he has told the midfielder there are areas of his game he needs to improve - which has been acknowledged by the midfielder himself.

Zola said: "We are pleased to have him here. He is the type of player who could fit in well with the squad. He will have to work hard because he has a lot of competition here but he is talented and we like having talented people here.

"Josh will have to work on his game because he certainly has some issues in his game he needs to improve but we are looking forward to helping him develop."