Arguably the most talented academy player to come through the ranks at Chelsea since John Terry, Callum Hudson-Odoi could be set to leave during the transfer window.
After finally breaking into the first-team under Maurizio Sarri, the Italian inexplicably refused to give him regular playing time towards the end of the season before the winger got a serious achilles injury which ruled him out for almost five months. When Lampard became manager it was expected he would be catapulted into the first-team regularly and flourish, but that hasn’t happened.
With lots of niggling injuries breaking up his season, Hudson-Odoi made just 9 starts from 28 appearances in total for Chelsea throughout the last campaign and then watched on as the club spent upwards of £200m on improving the squad, including three starting attackers.
With Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz coming into the team and Christian Pulisic being handed the coveted No.10 shirt as a sign of faith from Lampard, it has Hudson-Odoi firmly in the back-up bracket currently. The opening two games of the season were an even greater indication of how far out of favour he is too, as despite Ziyech and Pulisic being unavailable Lampard opted to use Mason Mount and Kai Havertz out of position on the wings instead.
So now the rumour mill is in full flow and Hudson-Odoi has been linked with a move away from the club. Lampard has refused to rule out an exit, while Bayern Munich are rumoured to be back in the race for him. But is that a smart move for CHO?
At Chelsea he’s currently behind in the pecking order but he’s at home. He’s at a club that loves him with a manager who knows all about him and they know he has four years left on his contract. A loan move to Bayern Munich, without an obligation to buy at the end of it, could be just as counter productive.
The German and European champions currently have Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman but they also completed the signing of Leroy Sane from Manchester City this summer. He is arguably their best winger now and after their opening weekend 8-0 win against Schalke, would Hudson-Odoi be able to get games in Germany?
He probably wouldn’t start, which is what he wants. The likelihood is though, that Bayern are better than Chelsea and they can afford to give him more games than Chelsea can. With the way they dominate their league, Bayern can freely rotate from game to game and give everyone in their first team enough minutes to be content. That was shown when Hansi Flick brought on youngster Jamal Musiala in that win over Schalke, and the 17 year old scored shortly after entering the field of play.
Hudson-Odoi would definitely have more options than just Bayern Munich should he genuinely become available for a move. Manchester United are in desperate need of a talented winger, although the likelihood of Chelsea helping out a direct rival is low. There is also talk of Juventus being interested in a loan move with an option to buy, which could suit all parties in the short-term at least.
It’s something for Hudson-Odoi and Chelsea to think about in the final two weeks before the window ends. If Lampard isn’t going to use him going forward then Hudson-Odoi deserves the chance to play elsewhere. He is supremely skilled and talented and we’ve seen what regular football can do for a young talent.
CHO needs to decide what’s best for him. Where does he have the most chance of playing regular football. Is it worth pushing to get away from Chelsea to go somewhere else.
Sometimes, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.