With Chelsea likely unable to sign any new players this summer, the club’s biggest decision before the close of the European transfer windows in early September is whether it can hold onto one of its rising stars.
It took Maurizio Sarri months, but he finally moved Callum Hudson-Odoi into his Premier League starting XI, and it appeared to pay dividends, despite Bayern Munich reportedly hot on Hudson-Odoi’s tail. Unfortunately for Hudson-Odoi, he suffered a season-ending injury in mid-April, an Achilles tear that could keep him out from 9-12 months or more.
However, the injury hasn’t deterred Bayern, which is reportedly raising its offer for Hudson-Odoi to $56.6 million, more than $12 million above the club’s last reported bid on January 31.
For a Chelsea club that isn’t spending like it used to, that’s quite a bit of money to bring in for a player who is rehabbing a very serious injury, and for all they know, won’t find the game-changing speed again, though there’s every chance he can make a full recovery.
In addition, it’s a decent sum and likely one of the best offers Chelsea may get while it have a chance. Hudson-Odoi is entering the final 12 months of his contract. Sarri urged him to stay at Chelsea, and Lampard has said in press conferences that he plans to meet with Hudson-Odoi to try and convince him to remain at Stamford Bridge. However, Lampard will have to wait a few weeks, as Hudson-Odoi is recovering at Chelsea’s practice facility in Cobham, south of London, and the club is heading out soon to Japan for preseason training.
By the time Lampard comes back in late July, will it be too late to convince Hudson-Odoi to stay, that he can have a Jadon Sancho-like impact in England as well? Or will Bayern have turned his head again?
It’s a big question for Chelsea, and they have to judge what his potential future value is and whether Bayern passes that. Due to the injury, it’s fair to say that Chelsea won’t expect too much productivity out of Hudson-Odoi this season, but in the future, if he returns to his previous speed and form, he could be a key member of the squad.
Perhaps Chelsea can let Hudson-Odoi leave and include a buy-back clause after one or two seasons, allowing Chelsea to re-purchase Hudson-Odoi at a spot lower than his market value.
But either way, Chelsea has a massive decision to make in the next 40 or so days, as Callum Hudson-Odoi’s future remains in the balance.