Callum Hudson-Odoi “could” leave on loan this January, reports Sky Sports, which seems a pretty obvious conclusion to draw from the fact that he’s made three appearances for a grand total of 95 minutes (60 of which came in the glorified friendly that is the Community Shield) so far this season.
In the summer, it was announced with some fanfare that he’d be staying with the first-team (after taking up the No.20 shirt), but in retrospect, any massive deviation from the standard path of youth development at Chelsea was a wayward hope.
Hudson-Odoi turned 18 just a couple weeks ago; he should be on loan and getting proper minutes — training with the team is all well and good, but the benefits are limited. A loan move may not be a popular decision if and when it does happen, and it does run the risk of losing his talents for good — his contract is up in 18 months as it stands — but it’s the only reasonable course of action both for his own career and his Chelsea prospects.
Sky does claim that Chelsea are wanting to send him to a team in the bottom half of the Premier League table, with Burnley and Southampton specifically mentioned.
The ideal course of action is to sign Hudson-Odoi to an extension and send him out for a half- or a 1.5-season loan and then look to integrate him once the likes of Pedro and Willian move on or drop out of first-choice contention (that may be this upcoming summer already, or perhaps the year after).