After receiving just 10 minutes through the first two matches of the season despite being the only actual winger fit to play, Callum Hudson-Odoi played the full 90 against Barnsley as Chelsea romped to a 6-0 win against the second division outfit in the League Cup third round.
But despite the goalfest, the 19-year-old managed to stay off the scoresheet — Tammy Abraham (1g+2a) and Kai Havertz (3g) took center stage instead — and at times it looked like he was trying way too much and way too hard.
Frank Lampard’s post-match assessment was similarly mixed.
“I think he did well. Not easy with not so many minutes, he is the same as some others in the same boat at the moment. I thought at parts he looked fresh and sharp.
“We talk about work ethic, which he showed really well in terms of getting the ball back for us, recovery runs, all the things which must be absolutely standard in his game. If you look at the top wingers in the Premier League and how they play.
“He showed loads of great moments. I was really pleased with Callum, I thought he had a good night.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
So, good in moments, great in some, but consequently not so in others. And it sounds like Lampard doesn’t think he’s been showing those “Premier League standard” qualities regularly outside of this one match either, which seems to be becoming he problem and part of the narrative for Callum. Can he prove that he’s more than just a “great moments” player?
Lampard challenged Hudson-Odoi before the match to prove he belongs, to “show in every minute, on and off the ball, what he can do for the team”. Based on that performance, the answer to that question is neither a resounding yes nor a resounding no, and while Lampard seemed to lean towards the former, it wasn’t a definitive answer.
That’s certainly not going to shut up the transfer rumors, especially with Bayern (and their media machine) apparently back in the picture.