Nathaniel Chalobah has revealed he harbours no grudge towards Antonio Conte despite the Italian's decision to bring in Tiemoue Bakayoko instead of giving him a chance at Chelsea.
The midfielder opted to join Watford this summer after he declined the offer of a new contract to remain with the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
In quotes published by football.london, Chalobah was asked why he decided a fresh start with the Hornets was for the best and the 22-year-old admitted that, whilst he understood Conte wanted a more experienced man in the middle of the park, he couldn't wait around to develop his game with more players ahead of him in the pecking order.
He said: "As obvious as it is, it’s a difficult one at the end of the day. I wouldn't want to compare myself with him. I don’t know what he’s [Conte] said about me and him.
"Fair play to Bakayoko who he has brought in, he must be a good player – I’m not doubting that.
"The experience thing is obviously the biggest part of any decision really these days for managers and I think if he’s had the experience then fair play. Here’s my chance to come out and get experience.
"It’s not about proving anyone wrong. It’s about working myself and helping the team out and seeing what I can do."
Ex-Monaco star Bakayoko rocked up in west London after he completed a £40m transfer from Ligue 1 to the Premier League as Conte eyed midfield reinforcements ahead of a gruelling 2017/18 campaign.
The 48-year-old will, however, have to do without Chalobah's services after he completed his own £5m switch to Hertfordshire.
The Chelsea academy product featured 15 times for the Premier League champions' first-team during his career, but he also had to endure six loan spells away from his parent club - including one such temporary switch to Watford - as he struggled to break into the team on a regular basis.
Former Chelsea player Ray Wilkins had expressed his surprise at Conte not giving the likes of Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek a chance in his team, but the pair must now contend with learning their trade at Watford and on loan at Crystal Palace respectively.