After nine months of waiting, the baby was finally out. A perfect little contract-baby. On Thursday, Callum Hudson-Odoi put an end to any speculation involving his future (at least in the short run) by signing a new five-year contract with Chelsea, reportedly valued at around £120-150k per week, with bonuses adding another 20 per cent on top potentially.
Throughout this long drawn-out process, many tried to nudge Callum in the right direction, including new manager Frank Lampard, who had been facing questions about the 18-year-old’s future since day one on the job. As he tells it, he did all that he could do ensure Hudson-Odoi ended up signing and staying rather than leaving for the supposed greener pastures of Bayern Munich.
“I spoke to Callum in pre-season, I made him aware I want him to be part of the plans. The club have worked hard, so has he and it’s what everyone wanted. It was away from me slightly but I made it clear I wanted him at the club.
“Now it’s signed it is where the hard work starts. We know the talent he has, I think there is a lot more.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
While much is expected from Callum and both his contract extension and his impending return to full match fitness have been closely watched and extremely hyped situations, he will still need to work as hard as all the other players, young and old, to earn his opportunities.
“He has got everything in front of him. We know the talent he has, he has shown his talent on occasions when he has had his opportunity, but I think there is a lot more. It’s pure hard work getting there.
“Hopefully Callum can look at the other younger players around him that are getting their opportunities. They have deserved them because they worked so hard in pre-season. That is a nice thing for him to see, and hopefully be hungry for, and now it’s signed and sealed we can put that to bed and get to work.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Fortunately, Hudson-Odoi appears to have the proper drive, proper ambition, and proper motivation to truly become a star, and, at least right now, also has the most ideal conditions to start this journey — just like all the other young hopefuls in the team.
“It’s amazing that two coaches (Jody Morris and Joe Edwards) I worked with for years in the Academy are now part of Frank’s coaching staff and we’re working together again. It’s a great feeling because I’ve worked with them already and they know how I am.
“Jody is a coach who’s always been on my case no matter what — if he sees me jogging, he’ll be shouting at me to run faster — but that’s a good thing to know he’s watching me that closely. He wants me to work hard for the team because when you all work together, you get results. I appreciate that because they’re helping me do what I’m doing now.”
Sunday’s match against Liverpool may come just a bit too soon — Hudson-Odoi could be involved in the PL2 match on Saturday instead, where Chelsea travel to Southampton — but the fun should be set to begin afterwards.
“I want to lift as many trophies as possible, win as many games as possible and contribute to as many goals as I can as well. As a team, we just want to work hard to achieve the best results we can.
“I can see the way we’re playing and it looks really exciting. We like to keep the ball, play with lots of combinations and the formation that we play is amazing for me as well. I’m delighted everything has been agreed and now I’m just looking forward to properly getting back to it.”
-Callum Hudson-Odoi; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.