Chelsea Reportedly Promote Callum Hudson-Odoi to 1st Team, Offer 5-Year ContractJuly 23, 2018
Chelsea have reportedly offered academy starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi a five-year contract and a spot in the first team for next season amid interest from a host of clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Villarreal, Juventus, Bayern Munich and AS Monaco.
According to Goal's Nizaar Kinsella, the teenager has yet to agree to the deal, but new manager Maurizio Sarri is determined to keep him at the club.
Per the report, it was new assistant coach Gianfranco Zola who convinced Sarri not to let the 17-year-old walk. There's been a recent trend of top English talents leaving their respective teams for a foreign adventure, with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Ademola Lookman and Reece Oxford all finding success in Germany.
The Blues have a poor reputation when it comes to integrating their top youngsters, but Sarri seems determined to change that. In the friendly win over Perth Glory, Sarri gave Hudson-Odoi a surprise start, and he impressed:
Figuring out a way forward with Hudson-Odoi will be tricky. At the age of 17, he's too young to play consistent minutes in the physical Premier League, but he won't progress if he spends his time on the bench.
He's also too good to continue playing in the academy―like Charly Musonda before him, his progression could stall, and he might push for a move if he feels he's not getting enough chances.
Musonda eventually found his feet for a while out on loan at Real Betis, but his career has since stalled. Still just 21 years old, he too saw playing time against Perth, another indication Sarri wants to trust his youngsters.
Sarri is known for his ability to develop players and get the most out of their squad, which should give the Blues an edge as they try to convince Hudson-Odoi to sign the new contract.