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Everybody at Chelsea wants Hudson-Odoi to stay, except Hudson-Odoi himself

Battle lines have been drawn; who will flinch first?

Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday - FA Cup Fourth Round
“WTF are you thinking, Callum?”, implores Captain Dave, maybe
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi, if reports are to be believed, personally hand-delivered his transfer request to the club on Saturday. About 24 hours later, he got the start, played a good game, and even got on the scoresheet as Chelsea beat Sheffield Wednesday, 3-0 to advance to the Last 16 of the FA Cup.

It was Hudson-Odoi’s 11th appearance of the season (600 minutes), his 4th in the last 5 matches in all competitions, but those minutes appear to have come too late (and only a tenth of them in the Premier League). His mind appears to be made up; his head fully turned by the promises of Bayern Munich. To his credit, he’s not let it affect his performances on the pitch or on the training ground, as assistant manager Gianfranco Zola, taking media duties for the FA Cup as usual, commended after the match.

“If we played him it’s because yesterday in training his attitude was excellent. He really played well. He scored a fantastic goal in training yesterday too. He didn’t show any signs which is why he played today.”

-Gianfranco Zola; source: Chelsea FC

Hudson-Odoi’s goal halfway through the second half decided the match, for all intents and purposes, and his celebrations didn’t betray any decision he may or may not have made about leaving.

His post-match interview didn’t reveal too much either, despite the reporter’s gleeful prodding at the seams (nice arm around from Willian in a protective gesture). The youngster didn’t deny the rumors of course, but was not willing to address them any further than that.

“I don’t know. I can’t say. But you know I just keep working hard and you never know what happens.

“I can’t say. I haven’t. I haven’t had a chat [with Bayern Munich].”

-Callum Hudson-Odoi; source: BBC via Mirror

Zola was much less reticent in his post-match comments, adding is voice to the thousands of Chelsea fans who had been imploring Hudson-Odoi to stay throughout the match.

“We want him to stay, we were singing as well!

“I don’t know if he will stay. We want him to stay, he has a contract, we are playing him, we believe in what he can do for this team. There are not many 18 year olds in Europe who are playing as much as he is in a big team. That shows we believe him, we think he can be an important player for us, so we will see what happens.

“We can do as much as we can do. He has a lot of strong players around him but we are still finding space to play him.”

-Gianfranco Zola; source: Chelsea FC

Hudson-Odoi wouldn’t be the only one to disagree that Chelsea are (or have been) doing “as much as” we could’ve done, but the decision is his and his alone at the end of the day.

Chelsea can of course reject the transfer request, but the club have shown repeatedly in recent seasons that we will not stand in the way of players who truly decide to force a move. As the contrasting outcomes of the Courtois and Hazard situations showed last summer, Chelsea won’t give in without at least a token effort, but we’re not ones to force players to play for the team against their own will.

So it goes.

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