Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is regarded as one of the brightest young players in the European game. He has burst onto the Premier League scene in the last year, but due to injuries, his development has slightly curtailed. However, with the right handling, Hudson-Odoi has the potential to become a truly top player in the future.
Chelsea faced losing the youngster
Prior to the summer arrival of Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss in the summer, it looked likely that Hudson-Odoi was set to leave the club from south west London. His contract at Stamford Bridge expired next summer.
German giants Bayern Munich saw multiple bids turned down for the winger in the last year or so. Media reports suggested that he had a big interest in heading to the Bundesliga next summer. However, that was due to a lack of first-team opportunities under previous boss Maurizio Sarri.
It seems the picture has changed under new boss Lampard. The fact that the former Derby boss is an advocate for playing younger players helped sway Hudson-Odoi’s decision to sign a new five-year contract in September. It was crucial for the Blues that they tied down the youngster.
Now back from injury
The 19-year-old missed the first six games of the Premier League season through injury. However, he has now featured in the last six top-flight games, although he has started just two. The lack of starts is more down to the teams recent excellent run. It is very rare a boss changes a starting line-up when the team is in such good form.
Now he is back to full fitness, Hudson-Odoi is likely to feature a lot for the rest of the season. The youngster has produced three assists in his six appearances, which is a decent ratio considering his last three appearances have been cameos off the substitutes bench.
The winger has stated that boss Lampard has reassured him that he believes in him as a player, which was enough to convince him to stay. However, he will realise he will have to be patient to start games, with the form of USA international Christian Pulisic especially good in recent weeks.
Like most at Chelsea at the current time, Hudson-Odoi now seems happy to wait for his opportunity under a boss who will give him a fair chance to play first-team football. Under previous boss Sarri, there were reports that he wanted to move on to play on a more regular basis.
Lampard seems to be a player who gets through to young players. Hudson-Odoi seems eager to learn, so it could well prove a dream partnership.
Early signs are good for the Blues
Chelsea are enjoying a fine debut campaign for boss Lampard. The Blues are currently third place in the Premier League table, nine points clear of the team in fifth-place. It seems the bookmakers now firmly believe that Hudson-Odoi and co. will claim a Champions League spot, as Chelsea are now odds of 2/9 for a top-four finish this season.
Hudson-Odoi may not yet have played much of a part in their season so far. However, there will come a time later in the season were the winger’s considerable skills will prove a useful asset. He may not yet be a key player for Chelsea, but at least with the Blues tying him down to a long-term contract, there is now a chance that he will fulfil his potential in the English capital, rather than Bavaria.
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