Chelsea’s youth academy at Cobham has produced plenty of talented players in the first decade (just about) of its existence, perhaps none more so than Callum Hudson-Odoi, who became the second youngest player ever to play in the Premier League for Chelsea last season and looks ready for first-team action already at just 17. That said action may not come in Chelsea colors, at least not yet, is a discussion for another day, but one thing seems certain: Hudson-Odoi is a name to remember and a future superstar (if he and the club play their cards right).
We’re not the only ones to rate him so highly, even before former Chelsea sporting director Michael Emenalo gives him more exposure by possibly taking him on loan at AS Monaco. Tuttosport’s annual Golden Boy awards, a sort of U21 Ballon d’Or, have taken notice as well, including him in the initial list of 100 nominees for 2018. He is the second youngest nominee after Monaco’s Pietro Pellegri, and one of only four nominees born in the year 2000 or after.
Other familiar (and older) names on the list include the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Justin Kluivert, and Christian Pulisic. Last year’s winner, Kylian Mbappé is there as well, though there have been no repeats among the previous 14 winners of this award (who include a veritable who’s who of superstars: Messi, Pogba, Fàbregas, Agüero, Rooney, etc)
This year’s voting has a new twist as this initial 100-strong list will be whittled down by 20 each month until only the 20 finalists remain in November.
Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Nathan were all among the 40 finalists two years ago (under a slightly different voting system) while current Chelsea transfer target Aleksandr Golovin was among the final 25 last season. Can Hudson-Odoi make it that far this year? You can help him by voting on Tuttosport’s website.