Lampard Urges Hudson-Odoi To Seize His Chance At Chelsea

Chelsea’s German defender Antonio Rudiger (C) and Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard (L) leave the field after the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on July 26, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP)

 

Frank Lampard has challenged Callum Hudson-Odoi to prove his worth for Chelsea when he gets a rare first-team start in Wednesday’s League Cup clash against Barnsley.

The Blues boss has confirmed the England winger will make just his second start since February 1 in the match at Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old shot to prominence with both Chelsea and England after making his debut for the club in 2018, but a ruptured Achilles tendon last year slowed his progress.

Hudson-Odoi has long since shaken off that issue but continues to battle for regular football and Lampard said it “remains to be seen” whether he could be loaned out before the transfer window closes on October 5.

The Chelsea boss said the winger must seize his opportunities while other players were unavailable.

“At the moment we have Christian Pulisic injured, Hakim Ziyech injured. We played Timo Werner out wide against Liverpool,” he said. “But the absolute natural winger who is fit at the minute is Callum.

“He has to show in every minute, on and off the ball, what he can do for the team and that’s the position Callum is in at the minute.

“He’s had an early breakthrough in his career because of his talent, he’s had an injury and now I want to see him flourish again.”

Bayern Munich are reportedly keen to sign Hudson-Odoi on loan and Lampard, who has been busy in the transfer market, has not ruled out departures.

Centre-back Toni Rudiger was omitted from Chelsea’s squad for Sunday’s 2-0 league loss to Liverpool.

Asked if Rudiger or Hudson-Odoi could leave, even on loan, in current transfer window, Lampard said: “I’m going to skirt around that question; it remains to be seen.”

“My priority will always be making sure I maintain and keep the strongest squad I can for this club but after that of course, the individual conversations will happen within that,” he added.

“I will try and make sure I go into the season, once the window shuts, with the squad that I feel is healthy and competitive in a healthy way.”

AFP

EPL: Chelsea Star Hudson-Odoi Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Callum-Hudson-Odoi
File photo: Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi receives medical attention after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge in London on April 22, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Chelsea star, Callum Hudson-Odoi, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement by the club. 

The club noted that the player had undergone a test after he displayed symptoms similar to mild cold on Monday morning with the result returning positive on Thursday evening.

“Chelsea men’s team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening,” the club said.

The statement revealed that the player “will undergo a period of self-isolation,” but reassured that “Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.”

Those who recently had close contact with the English star in the team will be self-isolated in line with health guidelines, the statement added.

Chelsea noted that others who did not have close contact with the player will be returning to work soonest, stating that aside from one of its building in the training ground, other facilities at the Stamford Bridge are operating as usual.

“The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal,” Chelsea explained.

The club wished Callum a speedy recovery and looked forward to welcoming him back to the team, as they assured of continued adherence to safety measures.

I Won’t Discuss Diving Issue With Hudson-Odoi, Lampard Says

Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi (C) protests for a penalty to Referee Michael Oliver (L) during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on October 26, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Frank Lampard says he doesn’t need to warn Callum Hudson-Odoi to cut out diving after the Chelsea winger was booked at Burnley.

Hudson-Odoi was initially awarded a penalty when he tumbled in the Burnley area during Chelsea’s 4-2 win on Saturday.

But the England international was then booked for simulation after the decision was overturned by VAR.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was critical of Hudson-Odoi, calling it “shambolic how people just dive all over the place”, while claiming it was worse because it involved a young player.

Yet Chelsea manager Lampard is adamant the 18-year-old did not dive, so he doesn’t need to discipline him over the issue.

“Nothing, I’ve said nothing. I didn’t feel the need to,” replied Lampard when asked what he had said to Hudson-Odoi.

“I asked him on the day of the game, straight afterwards, after my press, he said he got a touch.

“Clearly when you see it back from behind he gets a hand on his back. I know it’s light.

“I’m not saying it’s a definite penalty but it’s not (a dive). I’m not sure if Sean had maybe watched it back and all the angles when he spoke because it wasn’t a dive as such.

“If that becomes a dive you will start analysing every bit of contact. That is the game, those are the grey areas. It was nowhere near a clear cut issue.”

Referee Michael Oliver changed his penalty decision at Burnley following advice from the video assistant referee.

On-field officials have so far been reluctant to use pitch-side monitors to aid their rulings, opting to rely solely on the judgements of their colleagues.

Lampard would like to see that change and he said: “It’s part of VAR and I assumed when it came in to the Premier League that would be the case. I think we’re at the point now where, from my point of view, they have to.

“It’s difficult. I’m not one to bang the drum, it’s not easy. Even with VAR there is an element of a human involved because they are the ones checking it and it’s slightly opinionated.

“Hopefully we find the right middle ground as soon as possible and I think seeing a monitor on the side of the pitch is a way forward.”

Chelsea are on a run of seven wins in all competitions heading into Wednesday’s League Cup tie against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard’s Chelsea reign began with a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford in August, but that result will have little bearing on his team talk.

“I’ve said nothing about that, it feels like a million miles away, gone,” Lampard said.

“I don’t think the context of that is going to be hugely relevant tomorrow night.”

AFP

Zola Defends Chelsea’s Treatment Of Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi controls the ball during the English League Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on January 8, 2019. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Gianfranco Zola insists Chelsea haven’t neglected Callum Hudson-Odoi despite the teenage starlet’s lack of first-team opportunities this season.

Hudson-Odoi reportedly handed in a transfer request last month following a £35 million ($45 million) offer from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

The 18-year-old, whose contract expires in 2020, was disillusioned by his treatment since Maurizio Sarri took charge as Chelsea manager in the close-season.

Hudson-Odoi has rarely featured under Sarri despite some eye-catching performances in pre-season, but Chelsea blocked his hopes of a move to Bayern by refusing to sell him.

Since the transfer window shut on January 13, the English winger has been restricted to just 19 minutes of action and is still awaiting his first Premier League start.

READ ALSO: Sala’s Body Arrives In Argentina

But Chelsea assistant manager Zola is adamant Hudson-Odoi is appreciated by the west London club while pointing out that few players of his tender age regularly represent Europe’s top clubs.

Asked if Chelsea’ coaching staff had a sense of urgency to make the player feel valued in the aftermath of Bayern’s interest, Zola replied: “I disagree on that. He’s always on the edge of the team.

“As soon as there is an opportunity, he plays. Sometimes from the beginning. Sometimes he comes on.

“The manager is giving him plenty of reasons to feel involved and wanted. I want to stress this out: there aren’t many 18-year-olds in Europe playing as many games as he is. There might be one or two.

“He’s playing. And, on top of that, he’s a player we appreciate and we believe is growing up.”

Zola believes Hudson-Odoi still has plenty of room to develop and would be helped by staying at Chelsea to learn from fellow wide-men Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro.

“He has a bright future in this club, the whole coaching group like him,” he said.

“Please, you need to understand that he’s surrounded by top players. You have to work hard to be better than them, and that’s what we want.

“We want him to play but also keep improving. He can still do better than he’s doing.”

Chelsea bounced back from last weekend’s 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City by securing a narrow 2-1 Europa League victory in Malmo on Thursday.

However, Sarri’s position remains in doubt, with the Blues facing a crucial run of fixtures following a miserable run in the Premier League that included a 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City and a 4-0 humiliation at Bournemouth.

Monday’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Manchester United is followed by Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second leg with Malmo and the League Cup final against City on February 24.

AFP

Sarri Blasts ‘Unprofessional’ Bayern Over Hudson-Odoi Interest

Sarri Praises Nervy Chelsea After Fulham Win
(file copy) Chelsea’s Italian head coach Maurizio Sarri

 

Maurizio Sarri has lashed out at Bayern Munich for their “unprofessional” behaviour after the Bundesliga club publicly expressed their interest in Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Chelsea boss Sarri is furious that Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said this week that they “definitely” want to sign Hudson-Odoi during the January transfer window as he “has the qualities which would fit very well” with the German champions.

Chelsea have reportedly turned down a £35 million ($45 million) bid from Bayern for the 18-year-old, who has less than 18 months to run on his current contract and has so far refused to sign a new five-year deal, and Sarri is unhappy with Bayern’s public approach.

“I think that it’s not professional because they are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea. So they didn’t respect our club, I think,” Sarri told reporters on Friday.

Sarri has handed Hudson-Odoi a place in his starting line-up for Chelsea’s past two matches — Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final loss to Tottenham Hotspur and the 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest last weekend in which the teenager set up both of Alvaro Morata’s goals.

But, having helped England win the Under-17 World Cup, Hudson-Odoi could follow the same path taken by his international teammate Jadon Sancho, who has impressed for Borussia Dortmund since leaving Manchester City for Germany.

Regardless of Hudson-Odoi’s future, Sarri has recommended Chelsea sign, two new players, to bolster his squad.

“As you know very well I am not involved in the market. I spoke with the club and the club knows very well my opinion. In my opinion, we need two players,” he said.

“Then it depends on the club decision. I don’t know anything about the market day by day or minute by minute.”

Sarri refused to comment on talk of a Chelsea swoop for his former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is on loan at AC Milan from Italian champions Juventus.

But he did admit Chelsea would need to find a replacement if out-of-form Spain striker Morata leaves, with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid reportedly interested in signing him on loan.

“Of course, if Morata will go to another club we need a replacement, it’s normal,” Sarri said.

“At the moment Morata is here, so I think he has to think only to play.”

Meanwhile, Sarri also shot down rumours this week that winger Willian could move to Barcelona.

“Willian for us is really very important. I think it’s impossible to lose him in January,” he said.

AFP

Bayern To Complete Signing Of Chelsea Teenager Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi controls the ball during the English League Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on January 8, 2019. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Bayern Munich, who are targeting young talent in the current transfer window, have confirmed their strong interest in English teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi amid reports the defending German champions have agreed to a fee with Chelsea.

“We definitely want to sign him – he has the qualities which would fit very well into our team,” Bayern’s director of sports Hasan Salihamidzic said Wednesday at their winter training camp in Doha.

“He is very fast and good at dribbling.”

According to Sky, Bayern and Chelsea have agreed to a transfer of 39 million euros (35 million pounds, $44.6 million), but it is unclear whether Hudson-Odoi would move in the current Bundesliga transfer window, which closes at 1700 GMT on January 31, or in July.

It was reportedly the fourth bid Bayern have tabled for the talented Hudson-Odoi, who has made just one Premier League appearance this season.

If he moves to Munich, he will become the third English teenager currently in the Bundesliga alongside Jadon Sancho, 18, who left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017, and Riess Nelson, 19, on loan from Arsenal at Hoffenheim until July.

The 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi, who can play as a winger or forward, played 79 minutes of Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night in the English League Cup semi-final.

His sole Premier League appearance so far this season was as an injury replacement in a 2-1 win at Watford on December 26.

The England Under-19 international is set to face more competition next season at Stamford Bridge with the arrival of US winger Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund in July.

On Wednesday, Bayern also confirmed the signing of French World Cup-winning defender Benjamin Pavard, 22, on a five-year contract from July 1 for 35 million euros.

Despite winning the Bundesliga title for each of the last six seasons, Bayern will resume the 2018/19 campaign on January 18 trailing current leaders Dortmund by six points.

They are looking for more youthful recruits to boost their aging squad with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, and Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez, both 22, also targeted.

“He is a very interesting player,” said Salihamidzic of Hernandez, who can play at left-back or as a central defender, but is under contract in Madrid until 2024 with a buy-out clause worth 80 million euros.

Werner, who has scored nine goals in 23 appearances for Germany, has been offered an extension to his current contract, which runs until 2020, by Leipzig.

Should he reject the offer, he is likely to transfer out of Leipzig at the end of this season, RB’s director Oliver Mintzlaff has confirmed.

AFP