If there is one person who knows the talent in the Chelsea Academy more than most, it is former Director of Football Michael Emenalo.
Thus, it should be too surprising that he’s come knocking for a few of them in his capacity as Director of Football at AS Monaco. He looks set to acquire Jonathan Panzo already, and now he’s turned his attentions to one of the jewels of the Academy, Callum Hudson-Odoi.
According to Foot Mercato journalist Dahbia Hattabi, Monaco have “made contact” with Hudson-Odoi. That in itself doesn’t mean much, and Foot Mercato isn’t at the top of anyone’s trustworthiness list, but there’s probably something there behind the scenes that we should pay attention to. It’s unclear whether it would be a loan or, like Panzo, a permanent transfer, but Emenalo giving opportunities to youth is a solid, reasonable line of thinking.
Hudson-Odoi became one of the youngest players to ever play for Chelsea when he made his debut last season as a substitute against Newcastle in the FA Cup. He added three more substitute appearances the rest of the season, and was named to the bench in Chelsea’s Champions League last 16 first leg against Barcelona. Having come up through the youth ranks over the past the 10 years, CH-O has won two FA Youth Cups and an U18 Premier League title. He also helped England lift the FIFA U17 World Cup last year with a 5-2 final win against Spain.
Callum is two weeks shy of his 18th birthday and has two years remaining on the three-year deal he signed last summer, which was his first professional deal. As much as any prospect in the system, Chelsea would be absolutely, certifiably senseless to lose him at this point. We may question many of the club’s decisions, but surely this one is not something we need to worry about at this point. Depending on how this year goes, next year we may have to revisit this situation. But for now, Monaco’s interest probably will remain just that, interest.
The difference to the Panzo situation is that Cal signed his pro deal (to 2020), Panzo didn't, and Chelsea are far more invested in Cal. There's been foreign interest in Cal for years; how CFC treat him this next year will determine much of his future. https://t.co/tqN6iHmMAc— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) June 29, 2018