This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has finally put pen to paper on a new five-year contract, the club have confirmed.
It has been on the cards for a while, and now Chelsea, Frank Lampard and the club’s supporters can sleep easy without seeing images of their prodigy in a Bayern Munich shirt: Callum Hudson-Odoi has committed his future to the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Indeed, the Bundesliga giants attempted to lure the England international to Germany in January, with Karl-Heinze Rummenigge, Bayern’s CEO, insisting he was the “only” player they wanted in the winter window.
The 18-year-old has now committed his future to the club until 2024 and said upon the announcement: “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s been a long wait but it’s done now and I’m really happy about that. I’ve been a Chelsea player since I was eight and this is the right club for me to be at.”
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This new contract comes at the perfect time for the England international as he approaches full fitness. It is a shame that he has not yet been able to make his first Premier League appearance of the campaign due to injury, but we should soon see him in action.
Now, we can look at exactly what he will bring to his new side. First and foremost, he is another player who fits into Lampard’s youth philosophy.
Aged 18, he is one of the youngest members of the first-team squad and will join the likes of Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham, all of whom are aged 21 or under, in the first team.
What Chelsea fans should be looking forward to seeing is his directness. Hudson-Odoi possesses a great deal of speed and likes to cut inside to cause havoc. In the Europa League last term, where he put in his best performances, he averaged 3.3 dribbles per game. Only two players – coincidentally, they were fellow teammates Eden Hazard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek – achieved more in the competition.
In 29 appearances in all competitions, he notched up six goals and seven assists, which is impressive enough for an 18-year-old. However, they came in just 17 starts, which is even more eye-catching. He is clearly able to make an impact and is often an integral part of his side’s attacking threat.
With Chelsea’s youngsters living up to expectations so far this season, Hudson-Odoi can be the next one to make his mark.