Watford manager Gianfranco Zola is keen on Chelsea and England Under 21 midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah returning to Vicarage Road for a second loan spell this season.

Chalobah made 43 appearances last term, helping the Hornets to the Championship play-off final at Wembley where they were defeated by Crystal Palace.

The 18 year old also featured in all three of England's games at the Under-21 European Championships at the summer finals in Israel but remains down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

The signing of Marco van Ginkel and return of Michael Essien from a loan spell at Real Madrid has further damaged Chalobah's attempts to feature in the first team at Chelsea, for whom he is yet to make an appearance for since signing a professional contract in January 2012.

Even though Chalobah is yet to make an impression on the Blues first team, he did captain the club to the FA Youth Cup in 2012.

The Sierra Leone-born midfielder signed a five-year contract in August suggesting Jose Mourinho sees a future for Chalobah in west London but another season on loan looms.

And Zola, who spent seven years as a player at Chelsea from 1996-2003 is keen on taking Chalobah to the Championship for a second consecutive campaign after missing out on a deal for Tottenham Hotspur youngster Tom Carroll, who instead joined Queens Park Rangers.

"We will see if there is anything and we will need to work on that," Zola said. "It is the same as Tom Carroll, we will try and attract the players with what we can offer.

"We can't offer what other clubs can offer in terms of money but I think we can attract players. Nathaniel knows what we are and Chelsea know the type of work we do.

"We can still give Nathaniel something to help him develop. So I am relying on this and we'll see what we can do."

Despite the transfer window closing on 2 September Football League and Conference clubs are permitted to complete loan deals for players from 10 September to 28 November.