AS Monaco have themselves a new coach, hiring Thierry Henry just a few days after sacking Leonardo Jardim who had not won a game since the first day of the season on August 11, losing five of the the next eight in Ligue 1 to drop the champions of two seasons ago into the relegation zone.
Henry, who left his job as Belgium assistant manager under Roberto Martinez (where he was quite helpful to a certain Eden Hazard) to try his hand as a head coach for the first time, won’t be in action for another week, until October 20 against Strasbourg.
But Monaco and sporting director Michael Emenalo are continuing to look for ways to dig the club out of their predicament, and that may include some transfer market activity in January. Emenalo, who probably has plenty of the €180m Mbappé-money still lying around, already used his Chelsea connections to land Jonathan Panzo (for just €3m) in the summer. And then he brought in a bunch of other highly rated youngsters, such as Golovin, Geubbels, Ben Henrichs, and countless others. And he may not be done yet.
According to the Daily Mail, Emenalo’s next target is none other than Callum Hudson-Odoi, who, like Panzo, will turn 18 in a few weeks. Already a star of the Chelsea youth system, Hudson-Odoi caught the eye with a sparkling preseason — with his pace and aggression, he was a constant menace down the left flank against much more established players (Arsenal right back, occasional Barcelona transfer target and part-time model Hector Bellerin may still have a few hair-raising nightmares from that friendly).
Hudson-Odoi was rewarded with 60 minutes in the Community Shield against Manchester City, but he underwhelmed, like the rest of the team, in the 2-0 loss. Since then, Chelsea haven’t lost, but he hasn’t been seen in senior first-team action. He only made the bench once, for our League Cup tie against Liverpool. He wasn’t in the matchday squad for either Europa League match so far, which disappointed many, to say the least.
At the beginning of August, Maurizio Sarri said he wouldn’t loan CHO this season. The youngster was assigned a first-team number, and Chelsea have reportedly offered him a five-year contract. But his lack of playing time persists.
If the Monaco rumor turns out to be true, then Hudson-Odoi himself may push for an opportunity to play in the South of France for a club which famously puts its youngsters on the pitch — although not Panzo (yet): he’s only featured for the reserves and the U19s thus far.