As far as Callum Hudson-Odoi is concerned, the time for the next step of his career has arrived, and it doesn’t involve Chelsea, the club that has developed and nurtured him from the age of seven.
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Now 18 years old and having shone brightly in his handful of appearances for the Blues, Hudson-Odoi is seeking a regular first-team place and he’s willing to leave
west London London England to prove his worth. According to multiple reports out of the UK, Hudson-Odoi has submitted an official transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to German giants Bayern Munich.
The six-time Bundesliga champions have been linked with a $25-million deal for the London-born forward in recent weeks. With no new assurances he’ll be given first-team opportunities, Hudson-Odoi recently rejected Chelsea’s offer of a new contract that would reportedly pay him north of $110,000 per week. Rather than going the route of loan after loan, which has become synonymous with Chelsea academy products for the past decade, Hudson-Odoi prefers the stability of a permanent move — even abroad.
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When you consider that Bayern remain one of the biggest clubs in the world — an absolute behemoth in their domestic league, whether or not they’ll eventually win their seventh straight Bundesliga title this season — it all seems a bit backwards that a young player views a perennial Champions League contender like Bayern a better place to earn playing time than, say, a yo-yo-ing (not to mention, aging) top-four Premier League side like Chelsea.
Hudson-Odoi will have no doubt seen the success and rise to prominence of Jadon Sancho since making his move from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017. 19-year-old Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson is currently on loan to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, where he’s enjoying a successful spell of his own with six goals in 13 appearances (five starts).
For far too long, English players were
hesitant to insistent against moving abroad, for any number of reasons. However, in recent years, it’s become increasingly clear that the place to come of age is any number of countries and clubs elsewhere on the continent.
Three or five years from now, PL clubs — maybe even Chelsea or Man City — will pay upward of $75 million to bring players like Hudson-Odoi and Sancho back to the PL, when a bit of patience and trust in their in-house youngsters could have saved them tens of millions — if not hundreds of millions by then — of dollars. Not only is testing themselves abroad a smart route for a number of elite young players, but it’s also a market inefficiency that dozens of clubs should be looking to exploit.
Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.