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Hudson-Odoi denies any suggestions of being impatient with his young career

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There’s a fine line between ambition and impatience, but Hudson-Odoi is just staying true to himself

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England v Czech Republic - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi is not even three years removed from making his U18 (!) debut for Chelsea, and he’s now a full fledged England international. At this time last year, he was still participating in Chelsea’s FA Youth Cup campaign, while also getting his senior debut from Antonio Conte a couple months prior (so about 14 months ago). In the year and change since, he’s made his Premier League debut, made his first Chelsea start, scored his first Chelsea goal, made his European debut, scored his first European goal, and became the youngest player to get his England national team debut in a competitive match (though “competitive” may be overselling the Czech Republic’s efforts on Friday).

To say that it’s been a meteoric rise could be an understatement, although if he had his way, he might be even a few more steps ahead of his current situation still, and already a big star at Bayern Munich. But Chelsea held fast in January and continue to do so even as the days count down to Hudson-Odoi’s contract expiry at the end of next season (June 2020).

The kid’s clearly got oodles of ambition, though it can be a fine line between that and impatience, especially when looked at from different perspectives. But for Callum himself, there is no impatience. There is only progress and taking advantage of opportunities.

“I’m not impatient. Obviously I’m always keen to play football, I love the game. But at times you’ve got to be patient and and wait for your chance to come and hopefully many more will come.”

While he said that in reference to his England prospects — he might be counted on for this summer’s Euro U21s over any senior international commitments, for example — it’s easy to read into it a bit more and hope that he would (still be happy to) apply it in his club career. He’s been plenty patient with Chelsea already of course, and while he’s slowly starting to reap the rewards, it would not be surprising at all if he were to push for a move away this summer.

Having scored in three straight starts in the Europa League, it was hardly surprising that he came close to scoring in his England debut as well (we’ll credit him with an assist for the Kalas own goal). For him, a card-carrying member of Team NeverNervous, it was just another game with his good friend Jadon Sancho, another game just to be himself.

“We’ve known each other since very young. We used to play against each other and have always been close friends. When I was at Chelsea and he was at Watford we used to play against each other and stuff like that. We’d always talked off the pitch, we always call each other, speak to each other, see how each other is going. He’s had a great season and since I’ve been here he’s helped me from day one. Always been with me, helped me feel comfortable and be confident. Having a friend like that is always amazing, just to bring you into the team and help you feel yourself and be yourself.”

“From young I’ve been the same way, so has he; we’ve been playing sometimes on the streets and that’s how we play. We normally play on the park and in the cages. It’s definitely good because we have that raw mentality, that mentality to go at defenders, be confident, be yourself, don’t be shy of no one. It’s great we have the confidence and ability to do that so we’ve just to keep going and you never know. There’s no point being nervous or being shy — do what you normally do and be confident.”

-Callum Hudson-Odoi; source: Telegraph

Hudson-Odoi is expected to get his second cap later today (Monday) as England take on Moldova Montenegro in Euro 2020 qualifying. Then it’s back to the grind at Chelsea, and hopefully not just for a couple months...