The dramatic yet lucky Chelsea win over Cardiff City has done little to quell the rising frustration with Maurizio Sarri and his methods and decisions. Chief among those is of course the Callum Hudson-Odoi situation, with the youngster not only not starting against one of the worst teams in the league, but also missing out on a substitute opportunity thanks to Sarri's poor lineup and subsequently necessary substitutions. Anyone who looked in the youngster's direction when Maurizio Sarri made the final substitution, hauling off Gonzalo Higuaín for Olivier Giroud, it was difficult not to notice the reaction and the face of mild bemusement from the kid.
If Maurizio Sarri’s recent quotes are anything to go by, Callum will see much greater involvement in the upcoming games, but the Chelsea coach’s subsequent admission that he saw Callum play for only 20 minutes when he started for the Three Lions against Montenegro seemed like a juxtaposition.
Incredible he admitted to only watching a "few minutes" of him for England. How dispiriting must that be for the player?— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) March 29, 2019
While different parties will have their own take on whether CHO is being integrated as well as he should, the player himself thinks differently and his transfer request to leave his boyhood club for the supposedly greener pastures of Munich clearly shows his stance on the subject. Even though the transfer request was denied in January, and maybe will be denied again if he makes one in the summer as well, his lack of minutes in the league has done little so far to quell rumors about one of England’s brightest prospects.
In the meantime, the Chelsea Board are trying hard to convince the teenager to commit his future to Chelsea, first by reportedly planning to offer him £100,000/week wages and secondly, by promising more game-time next season after Eden Hazard’s
imminent potential departure.
However, as per this recent report by Rob Draper of Daily Mail, Chelsea and Hudson-Odoi's representatives have agreed to wait till the summer to start contract talks anew. There apparently have been no substantive talks with Hudson-Odoi’s family since his failed move to Bayern Munich in January which points to one of two things: Chelsea either want to convince him to stay by giving him more minutes till the end of the season or they are planning to get a new manager at the club who might give CHO a new lease of life.
There are 7 PL games and atleast 9 games in total for Chelsea to save their season. While Callum-Hudson Odoi may not be the complete answer to solving our attacking woes, he can atleast bring a sense of freshness and directness to our attack that has seemed trepid and devoid of penetration in recent times. Whether Maurizio Sarri makes that change is yet to be seen, but if he does, it needs to be soon. Maybe next game as well against Brighton. While we may choose to be patient with a manager just this once, patience is a card we probably can’t afford to play in Hudson-Odoi’s situation. Because each passing day brings us closer to silly season and the prospect of losing both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Eden Hazard in one window.