It’s a rough time to be a Chelsea fan at the moment. Despite just winning the Europa League title, the club are facing a number of problems. Manager Maurizio Sarri is set to leave the Blues and join Juventus, the club are facing a number of injury problems and, biggest of all, star player Eden Hazard has joined Real Madrid.
Whilst Hazard’s long-awaited departure is a massive blow, his ideal replacement is in the very hands of the club. 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi plays in the same position as Hazard: left wing. With the right handling, the young prospect could really become Chelsea’s new Hazard.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is Eden Hazard’s Successor
Who is Callum Hudson-Odoi?
Callum Hudson-Odoi was born in Wandsworth, Greater London in November 2000. Having been a Blue since 2007, Hudson-Odoi has looked more and more promising as he progressed through the youth ranks at Chelsea. His goal and assist ratio for the youth squads were impressive, which led to the pacy player making his professional debut in January 2018, against Newcastle United. He played a couple of more games with the senior side that season, but the youngster really made a name for himself during the pre-season of 2018/19.
Whilst Eden Hazard was on international duty, Hudson-Odoi tore defences apart, looking like he’d been playing for years. As the new season began, playing time didn’t come his way often. Eventually, his fortunes changed, and the teenager showed that he was more than capable of playing regularly.
The winger managed a total of five goals and three assists, despite the majority of his appearances coming from the bench. In fact, he only started one game in his favoured left wing position. However, his season ended early in April, rupturing his Achilles tendon. Unfortunately, he is expected to remain out of playing until September.
New Contract Imminent
Callum Hudson-Odoi has already played twice for England and has attracted the attention of some other top clubs. Bayern Munich made a £35 million bid, which Chelsea swiftly rejected. Now with the attacker playing a bigger role at Stamford Bridge, he is set to snub Bayern and devote his future to Chelsea.
For a while, Hudson-Odoi was reluctant to sign a deal with the Blues, fearing he wouldn’t play enough. It’s thought though that he will be part of Chelsea’s first-team plans once he returns from injury. He has been offered £100,000 per-week as part of a five-year contract.
Hazard’s departure could pave the way for Hudson-Odoi to become the main winger on the left side. To add to that, the youngster is to inherit the number 10 shirt that Hazard wore before leaving.
A New Era Dawns
Chelsea have an ageing squad that isn’t quite to the standard of some of England’s other ‘top six’ teams. With a transfer ban currently looming, Hudson-Odoi may not be the only youngster Chelsea will look to bring into the squad. A number of Premier League clubs have begun to use more of their own talent, a strategy which has seemed to work.
Chelsea have one of the best academies in Europe. However, the Stamford Bridge outfit are often criticised for not using their youth products enough. This could finally change due to the transfer ban. Like Hudson-Odoi, midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek also broke into the first-team this season. The 23-year-old has developed into a key figure at the west London side, and looks keep it that way once he recovers from a long-term injury.
Others such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James will return to Chelsea off the back of successful loan spells in the Championship. All three play in positions that need strengthening, with the latter, unfortunately, the latest to pick up an injury.
Whatever happens in the future at Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi looks to be a part of it. He has a real talent, and could really take Premier League viewers by storm next season. At 18, he has the world at his feet, and it will be exciting to witness his development over the following years.