Buoyed by a strong international break and star turn for England U21, Callum Hudson-Odoi is looking to put a “strange” 18 months behind him and get back to playing more consistently and more impactfully at Chelsea (and eventually England senior team as well).
From the Bayern transfer saga to the Achilles injury, from finding favor under Sarri to falling out of favor under Lampard, not to mention the off-field distractions, it’s certainly been an eventful 18 or even 24 months for the young man, but he’s ready to close that chapter and begin a new and better one.
“The last 18 months have been strange, not something I’d have liked, but we have to deal with it. I want to look to the future and hopefully better things will come. I put pressure on myself. I want to prove myself every time, do my best every game.”
“It has been a rollercoaster, up and down, up and down. But stuff like that you move on from and think of the present and the future. For myself, I want to make sure I am training every day. I am working my hardest, trying to get in the team and working my way back to the senior England team.
“I keep trying, working. In the last 18 months, I have enjoyed bits and not enjoyed bits. I feel I am getting more confident game by game.”
The 20-year-old recently revealed that he was still not fully recovered from the Achilles injury — they are no joke, after all — and that certainly has hampered his progress even amid Lampard’s Youth Revolution™.
Now, with £200m-worth of attacking talent added to the team over the summer, Hudson-Odoi’s task is an even bigger one. But he’s seen others rewarded for working hard, which gives him confidence in trying to do the same.
“You train hard at Chelsea every day, the managers are always looking and you always want to prove a point that you are ready when called upon. When I train and play in games, I want to score, assist, work hard for the team and always improve myself on the pitch and to prove a point as well.
“No matter what it is, I want to give 100 per cent, keep trying and staying positive. I have the right people behind me, giving me the right instructions and keeping me grounded. I am really happy with the people in the background with that and I want to get back into the team.”
It’s easy to forget that just a couple weeks ago, Hudson-Odoi was still just a teenager. Footballers do seem to grow up much quicker these days, perhaps too fast in some cases, even, and with salaries and expectations to match as well. Callum seems to be dealing with that aspect well enough, which should give him a strong foundation to deal with all the rest as well.
“I am only 20! Sometimes people forget the age because I have been around for a while. I started young. I have just turned 20. I have kicked on well and I can keep progressing day in day out.”
“Sometimes there is a lot of expectation and you just have to play your normal game, and the result will go your way. I just say to myself keep being positive, things might go wrong but be positive and hope the end result will be good. [...] I want to be on the ball. Try to work as hard as possible for the team as well. I want to get wins and trophies as well.”
-Callum Hudson-Odoi; source: Goal
With his future secure at Chelsea, The CHOsen One has every chance at becoming a club legend indeed, just as it’s been preordained.