Callum Hudson-Odoi

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Report: Chelsea to renew contract talks with injured Hudson-Odoi

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According to a report by Matt Law of The Telegraph, Chelsea is gearing up to offer Callum Hudson-Odoi a new contract after the young English international ruptured his Achilles against Burnley on Monday.

Despite Maurizio Sarri‘s stubbornness this season regarding the young winger, Hudson-Odoi has forced himself into the regular Chelsea lineup as the Blues fight for a Champions League place down the stretch of the season. The 18-year-old had started the last four matches before the injury ended his season early.

Due to his inability to crack the lineup before the last month, Hudson-Odoi had reportedly handed in a transfer request and rejected all contract offers with the hopes of finding a new home where he would be more appreciated on the pitch. There were multiple reports that Bayern Munich was heavily interesed in Hudson-Odoi and that the German giants were preparing to make an enticing offer with the youngster’s current contract set to expire next summer. Now, however, things have turned in Chelsea’s favor in the long-term.

According to the Telegraph report, Bayern’s interest in Hudson-Odoi is likely to cool thanks to the injury that will likely see him miss the summer and the start of the next campaign. With this opportunity, Chelsea could come to Hudson-Odoi with a renewed contract offer that reflects his status as a first-team regular.

Hudson-Odoi’s Achilles tear is a brutal blow to Chelsea this season, with the club entrenched in a brutal battle with Tottenham, Arsenal, and Manchester United for the Premier League’s final two Champions League places, as all teams sit within three points of each other. Chelsea is also still fighting on another front as well, as the Blues have secured a place in the Europa League semifinals. While Hudson-Odoi only just recently cracked the Blues’ league lineup, he had been a regular in the Europa League rotation, scoring four goals in his nine European appearances this season.

Still, there could be a significant silver lining to his injury. Considering the likely departure of Eden Hazard this summer plus uncertainty around Chelsea’s ability to sign players in the coming transfer window, securing Hudson-Odoi’s future at the club could be an enormous boost long-term, even with the injury leaving him sidelined for a significant amount of time. Christian Pulisic is arriving this summer thanks to an already-completed deal with Borussia Dortmund, but the two players are more natural on opposite sides of the pitch and could potentially play together. In addition, should a transfer ban come down on the Blues, the club may not even be able to register Pulisic for the first half of the season, leaving an even bigger hole in the squad.

Before the injury, it appeared there was no way back for Callum Hudson-Odoi at his boyhood club. Having joined the club in 2007 when he was just six years old, keeping the teen around long-term would be monumentally positive news for Chelsea moving forward, even if the injury is devastating in the short-term.

Season over: Hudson-Odoi suffers suspected Achilles tear

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One incident on Monday showed why some players are so desperate to change clubs when given the chance. They may never get it again.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Callum Hudson-Odoi said on his Instagram post Monday evening that he had suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon. If confirmed by the club, it’s usually a nine-month recovery process, with some players needing a full year to return to full fitness. Considering the timing of this, towards the end of the season, it means that Hudson-Odoi may miss an entire season of top-flight soccer, as well as possibly miss out on a chance to move to Bayern Munich this summer.

The injury is a huge blow to the 18-year-old, who had forced his way into the Chelsea side after strong performances in the UEFA Europa League, and now he’s making regular Premier League starts at the tender age of 18. Hudson-Odoi had started four-straight Premier League games including Monday, but now he faces a long layoff.

In Hudson-Odoi’s favor is his youth. While it can be a career-ending injury, hopefully Hudson-Odoi could retain his electric pace once he recovers and can return to the starting lineup for Chelsea.

But it’s a big disappointment to the young Englishman, who surely would have played for England youth national teams this summer and could have potentially made a big-money move abroad.

Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi happy to start for Chelsea

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All the schedule congestion, an international break, and two matches in four days forced Maurizio Sarri to finally start Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek on Wednesday against Cardiff City.

They did not disappoint.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 3-0 Brighton and Hove Albion ]

Hudson-Odoi cued up Olivier Giroud for the game’s first goal and Loftus-Cheek had a goal and an assist as Chelsea bossed Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

From the BBC:

“We needed to change. We’re lucky because Callum is doing very well. Loftus has no problem with his back for the first time this season. Giroud is in a good period. We’re lucky.

“Callum played very well and defended very well. He has improved during the season a lot. He’s ready to play 90 minutes in very important matches. The only problem is Ruben, who had cramp in his hamstring after 75 minutes. I want to be sure his back is okay.”

We knew both players had it in them, especially after the star run from Loftus-Cheek at Crystal Palace last season.

Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek admitted that they were quite ready for their chance to make a proper Premier League impact.

“We have both worked all of our lives for this chance, years of hard work and now we start in a Premier League game together,” Loftus-Cheek said. “That’s good for the academy.”

Hudson-Odoi measured his words, no surprise given his status as a teenager on one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“The manager told me to go and express myself. I feel comfortable, hopefully I did well.”

Chelsea bash Brighton and Hove Albion (video)

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  • Hazard, Loftus-Cheek score beauties
  • Loftus-Cheek adds assist
  • Hudson-Odoi lively, gets assist in first PL start

Ruben Loftus-Cheek had a goal and an assist as Chelsea clobbered Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.

Callum Hudson-Odoi had an assist in his first Premier League start, while Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard also scored.

Chelsea rises fifth with 63 points, level with fourth place Arsenal and a point back of Spurs. Manchester United has 61.

Brighton has 33 points, five points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Hudson-Odoi was making his first start and saw his bid for an opener deflected over the bar.

He also nearly played set-up man, but a cross was headed high by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Giroud was the goal scorer, however, getting his 78th Premier League goal by popping a Hudson-Odoi-produced chance past Mat Ryan.

The 38th minute goal came on Chelsea’s 10th attempt to Brighton’s one.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Hazard buttressed Chelsea’s advantage at the hour mark, taking a pass from Loftus-Cheek and skewering Lewis Dunk before curling home.

Loftus-Cheek got a goal of his own moments later from almost the same distance as Hazard. Cruising.

Sarri expects Hudson-Odoi to stay at Chelsea next season

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Callum Hudson-Odoi is young, English, good, and wanted by at least two of the game’s absolute giants: Current club Chelsea and the Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich.

The 18-year-old winger has five goals and four assists in 19 appearances for Maurizio Sarri‘s Blues this season, and the manager says Hudson-Odoi will start in two or three of Chelsea’s next eight matches.

[ MORE: Rashford wants new Man Utd deal ]

And Hudson-Odoi fever is spreading in England and the media, especially after the teenager collected his first two caps for the Three Lions while picking up an assist against Montenegro.

Hudson-Odoi, however, has not committed his future to Chelsea after a January transfer window which saw Bayern lodge several big bids for his services and the player handing in a transfer request.

Sarri said he expects Hudson-Odoi to spend next season at Chelsea whether he pens a new deal at Stamford Bridge or not, and backed the player to continue improvement.

From ChelseaFC.com:

“He is doing very well, but he needs to improve more. His potential is very high. I don’t want him to stop improving. He can become one of the best players in Europe, but he needs to improve more. The risk is to stop improving.”

Sarri said the presences of Eden Hazard, Pedro, and Willian are keeping him out of the Starting XI more than many would like, though Sarri expects “in the near future probably he will start 75 or 80 per cent of matches.”

Borussia Dortmund has also been credited with an interest in Hudson-Odoi, no doubt aided by the massive success of import Jadon Sancho. The reality of Hudson-Odoi’s massive skill and young age means that Sarri is tactically correct to not force him to play just because he could be playing more elsewhere. Whether that ultimately costs Chelsea in their pursuit of keeping the youngster in blue is another story.