Callum Hudson-Odoi was supposed to be the chosen one — the CHOsen one, if you will — but he’s having a highly disappointing first half of the season after signing, at long last, the long-term contract extension in the summer and putting a definitive end to all the Bayern Munich rumors.
He is of course still very young and is coming back from a major injury, but other than his first few appearances under Lampard, when he collected a few assists, he’s not been living up to expectations. Sure, those expectations may be a bit unreasonable, but after all the drama of the past 12 months, not to mention the weekly pay-packet he gets to take home, it’s fair to say that we need to see more from the 19-year-old. He doesn’t have to be an Eden Hazard, at least not yet, but it’d be nice if weren’t a Marko Marin.
Hudson-Odoi is hardly alone in that regard unfortunately, but after getting a starting chance against Southampton on Boxing Day, he’s come up empty once again. And while Lampard defended his young winger in his post-match comments, his comments also make it clear that more is definitely expected from Callum.
“I thought he put a lot of effort in today. He was trying things, making runs but it wasn’t quite coming off for him in the first half. He’s coming off the back of a big injury and there’s certainly a period where we have to stick with him through that.
“He’s still young and he’s in a period now where he has to get his head down and work to show what he can be for this club. I showed faith in playing him today and I will continue to do that.
“I’ve sat and probably been relatively harsh on Callum a couple of times but I don’t think is the moment to do that because today I saw an effort and desire and I’ve seen it in training these last couple of weeks.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Patience is a rare commodity in football, especially these days and especially as Chelsea continue to drop easy points at home. Effort and desire is all well and good, but I’m not sure we saw as much today as Lampard seems to have. More importantly, we need quality and consistency, or the rest of this season is going to be an almighty struggle. Players like Hudson-Odoi need to step up, seeing as how we’ve tied the club’s fate to them, this season and beyond.