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Zola admits Bayern interest in Callum Hudson-Odoi, wants him to stay at Chelsea

Patience is key

Watford FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

When Bayern Munich enter a transfer chase, they rarely leave it empty-handed. This certainly does not bode well for Chelsea, as the German Giants have turned their focus this winter to taking youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi from Stamford Bridge.

The latest reports claim that Bayern have already a third attempt at taking CHO from the Blues, with a £30 million bid. And it surely does not help us that the 18-year-old only has one-and-a-half year left on his current contract, with a five-year deal offered and rejected by the player due to fears over lack of playing time.

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola is well aware of those circumstances. He admits that Bayern are in fact in for CHO. But so are Chelsea.

“I know Bayern are interested in him, but we are as well. We have had a contract with him for a while and we will see what the player wants.”

Zola’s approach to this debacle has been akin to counselling. CHO must be understandably frustrated by the few chances he had to showcase his talents, and he has done well whenever he was able to do so.

It is then only natural that he wants more, and he is not getting that at Chelsea. A fool’s errand, many would feel — including CHO. And Zola wants to placate that.

“He has not played what he wanted. I have told him it is not a waste of time, because you are pushed to do more and I hope he uses this time in a wise way. He will be a very good thing in football.”

“Mainly we speak about tactics. I understand he has requests but I believe that he has a bright future.”

It is never easy for a youngster, even a talented one such as CHO, to break through a top club’s first-team. That is especially the case in the top-heavy Premier League, where the competition between the six best clubs only increases as the years go by and the need to land ready-made players follows.

“I understand that [fans want CHO to play more often]. We would be happy to see an academy player come through but it is not easy for anyone.”

“He is still in a period that he is showing a lot of potential, but there are top players in front.”

But there is still plenty ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi. There is little to no doubt that he can be a great player a few years from now. But for Zola, a good attitude and loads of patience, and not necessarily a lot of playing time, will go a long way to make that prospect turn into reality.

“For 18 years old he has a lot of potential. You have to understand the journey is not finished, he has to have a good attitude.”

“It is not important he plays straight away, it is about developing. He has to keep an open mind to improve.”

“I believe we can help him, develop him and I believe he has a future in this club.”

“It is about patience. He has a bright future with us, but he will have to learn sometimes.”

“Now it is important to get better. Not about why he isn’t playing 20 games, he has to just get better.”

-Gianfranco Zola; Source:

What we can only hope is that we are simply not alienating yet another quality player who, this time around, has all the say in his future. Nothing would hurt more than seeing CHO becoming a footballing great for Bayern, and we should do all we can to stop that from happening.

His place should be Stamford Bridge. As it has always been.

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