Like actor Daniel Kaluuya before him, Chelsea’s young star has only one option if he wants to progress in his career the next time the transfer window opens
The situation for Callum Hudson-Odoi doesn’t share too many similarities with Jordan Peele’s Oscar nominated film, but the key message remains the same, leave. He is in excellent company at Chelsea with starlets out of the academy who seem to be promising the world to the England side of the future and the 18-year-old needs to be wary of their cautionary tales and take an early career exit from Stamford Bridge, and more importantly, Chelsea need to let him.
It wouldn’t take long for Hudson-Odoi to be able to see examples of players who have stagnated in West London. A quick walk across the Chelsea dressing room would lead him to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a man should also exit stage right. Loftus-Cheek has waited and waited on his chance to become the key creative outlet in a Chelsea midfield, but such a chance has not been forthcoming. Despite a strong season with Crystal Palace and World Cup with England, alongside the lack of thrust being provided by Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley, Loftus-Cheek has only managed 327 minutes of Premier League football this season. This is one of many examples, spanning from Dominic Solanke to Nathan Ake, of players who have wasted the formative years of their career’s waiting for a chance that was never going to arrive.
I have seen Chelsea fans calling Hudson-Odoi “arrogant” for rejecting a new deal and handing in a transfer request, spouting things like he needs to remain humble because he hasn’t done anything yet and should remain at Chelsea. But this is, frankly, nonsense. I wrote an article a few months ago about the role German football is playing in the development of English players, and both Bayern Munich and Hudson-Odoi have realised this trend and want to take advantage of it. Hudson-Odoi could easily be a special player, but players don’t tend to become world class unless they get regular games at a young age and history tells us that Chelsea don’t give players proper minutes unless they come with a hefty price tag. This summer both Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery will be taking their Bavarian bows and will depart the Allianz Arena, and Bayern are searching for their successors. German clubs do not spend big money often, the offers they have made show their intent to make the young Englishman this successor.
Chelsea in the past few days have told Hudson-Odoi that he will not leave before the transfer deadline and likely not in the summer either. Even if you believe that he should respect the club, should the club not respect him? Even Chelsea must be aware of their track record with youngsters and realize why Hudson-Odoi wants to leave and what an exciting opportunity this Bayern move would be for him. His quality deserves more of a chance than it is getting, his goal against Sheffield Wednesday shows what he can do and the players currently filling his spot have not delivered enough to justify his residency on the substitute benches of the Premier League. The solution is clear, get out.