It’s been quite a season for Callum Hudson-Odoi: a transfer saga involving Bayern Munich, his first goal in senior football, and now a call-up to the England squad.
The teenager has managed all this without starting a Premier League game, with Maurizio Sarri still yet to really hand the youngster the chance to establish himself in the Chelsea first team.
Hudson-Odoi’s rise has come as a huge surprise to many in football outside of Stamford Bridge, but for those who have been following the Londoner’s career up to this point, the forward’s emergence hasn’t come as a shock.
But, the question for many people is just how good Hudson-Odoi? Is he really the best young English talent around, or are we getting too excited about a player who is yet to really prove himself?
While he hasn’t started a Premier League game this season, Hudson-Odoi has been given some chances by Sarri, making 19 appearances, eight of them in the Europa League.
In the time he has had on the pitch, though, Hudson-Odoi has done everything asked of him, scoring five times including four in Europe.
With English youngsters proving to be very much in demand, especially from Bundesliga sides, Bayern Munich made a very serious attempt to sign the youngster in January.
As bid after bid came in for him from the German champions, Hudson-Odoi made it known to Chelsea that he would like to leave in order to play more first-team football – a request that was rejected out-of-hand.
Desperate to keep the talented teenager, Sarri has given Hudson-Odoi more game time since the turn of the year.
While there may have been a temptation to loan the attacker out in January, potentially to one of those teams pushing for promotion and among the favourites with the latest Championship betting odds, the likes of Norwich, Leeds or Aston Villa, Chelsea have opted to keep him in and around the first team. With Sarri’s future seemingly far from clear following a disastrous run of form, Hudson-Odoi may find himself given a bigger role should a new manager come in and replace the Italian.
Capable of playing anywhere along the frontline, be it on the wings or as an out-and-out striker, Hudson-Odoi has already shown signs that he is on another level to a lot of his peers.
Having won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2017, the forward has represented England from Under-16 to Under-19, earning a call-up to the Under-21 side this season, only to be promoted to the senior squad following the withdrawal of a number of players.
While it remains to be seen whether Gareth Southgate will be willing to throw Hudson-Odoi straight into the starting line-up, the England head coach has proven before he isn’t afraid to give youngster a chance if he feels they are ready.
After the year he’s had, you certainly wouldn’t put it past Hudson-Odoi to now go on and take his chance to impress on the international stage.