Eighteen-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi is still recovering from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in April of this year, so this international break it was decided that he would represent England at the U21 level. This was very bad news for their opposition, Austria’s U21 side. Callum may just be returning from injury, but he is still one of the most talented teenagers in
the league England Europe, and had already slotted into Frank Lampard’s first team since recovering his fitness.
So it was no surprise that he stood out, and netted two gorgeous goals in the 5-1 win, which also featured a hat-trick from Eddie Nketiah.
The first was the best of the pair and happened just twelve minutes in. The overhead camera makes the initial cross he swept home look like a cutback that rolled along the ground — a perfect setup for a first-time strike. Other angles reveal it was actually a cross that curled and dipped in front of the Chelsea youngster — a less than perfect setup for a first-time strike.
Callum, apparently, doesn’t need a perfect setup. His technique was exquisite and calm as he met the ball perfectly on the volley and sent it flying by the keeper and into the net. It’s a ridiculous strike that was done frighteningly effortlessly.
His second was kind of hilarious if you’re paying attention only to Austria’s defending. Callum is quick and he can embarrass a defender anytime he wants, but if you’re in a different color shirt you at least have to try.
They didn’t. So Callum collected the ball near the top of his own box, drove forward, crossed the halfway line, turned toward the box, kept running, ran some more, then hit a curling shot from just outside of the box that bent around the keeper and into the net.
Hudson-Odoi played 86 minutes before making way for fellow Chelsea Academy standout Conor Gallagher. Chelsea defender Marc Guehi also started and played the full 90.
It would appear that Callum is very close to being near the level he was at before his injury; or, terrifyingly for everyone else, maybe even a bit better. Point proven, fitness regained, sharpness back — now let’s see a bit of the same in blue.