By 90Min
October 16, 2019

Cast your mind back to early 2018, and you may remember hearing Chelsea fans proclaim that Callum Hudson-Odoi was destined for greatness. The manner in which he had dominated youth football was not normal.

Those views were instantly met with scepticism. Rivals would joke that Chelsea's loan army would ruin Hudson-Odoi, just as it had done with so many before him, but Blues fans knew that would not be the case. 

Now, here we are, coming to the end of 2019, and Hudson-Odoi is primed and ready to take over the world.

His recent performance for England Under-21s against Austria on Tuesday was a perfect example of what he can do. He exhibited speed, power, precision and terrifying technical ability as he fired two of his side's five goals in a 5-1 win. 

Achilles injury? What Achilles injury?

Hudson-Odoi will now waltz into Frank Lampard's Chelsea side and bring all of those characteristics to the Premier League, just as he should have been doing months ago.

Rarely has English football seen a youngster who looks so ready for senior football. Chelsea's squad is just crying out for someone like him to take them to the next level, and that's exactly what they're going to get.

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have rejuvenated a Chelsea attack which, outside of the now-departed Eden Hazard, had been growing stale in recent years. The dynamism and excitement is back at Stamford Bridge, and Hudson-Odoi will only increase that even more.

In terms of raw talent, there are few English youngsters who can hold a candle to him. He has already eclipsed Manchester City's Phil Foden when it comes to noteworthy contributions - despite Pep Guardiola's insistence that Foden is worth more than £450m - so his only real competition comes from Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

Sancho, who is almost eight months older and has one less Achilles injury to his name, has taken Europe by storm, but so has Hudson-Odoi. When you compare both players' statistics, there really isn't much difference.

Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

Having played 1,467 minutes of senior football to date (per Transfermarkt), Hudson-Odoi has managed six goals and eight assists. When Sancho hit that number of career minutes in November 2018, he had six goals and 12 assists to his name.

Assuming Hudson-Odoi can fully shake off his injury, he has the potential to set a new benchmark for youngsters around the world. 

It hasn't been an easy road for the teenager. By the time he was ready to make an impact on the team, Maurizio Sarri had just arrived at the club. The Italian is well known for his preference of using the same group of players, so Hudson-Odoi had to make do with minutes in cup competitions.

Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Yet, with those limited minutes, he continued to shine. He tormented the Europa League, and that led to eyes on him from across Europe. Almost everyone, apart from the Stamford Bridge dugout, began to believe. He was called up to the England squad. Bayern Munich wanted to pay almost £40m for him. The hype was real.

One new manager, a torn Achilles and a bumper new contract later, and Hudson-Odoi is on the path to superstardom.


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