Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has spoken of his pride at breaking through for the Blues in the wake of speculation regarding a possible departure in January.
The Chelsea starlet was strongly linked with a move to Bayern Munich, with David Hytner of the Guardian reporting the England youth international handed in a transfer request in a bid to push a move through. The request and a £35 million bid from the German champions were rejected by the Premier League outfit, though.
Speaking to Tom Kershaw of The Independent, Hudson-Odoi detailed how exciting his development at Stamford Bridge has been as of late:
"I've been there throughout my whole life. Putting on the shirt for the first time, being a homegrown player, at such a young age, making my debut was an amazing feeling
"Just seeing my shirt in the dressing room, it made me feel like a part of the club. It was a dream come true. [Once I was on the pitch] I just wanted to get on the ball as much as possible and show what I'm capable of. I think now I've done that, I'm just delighted and pleased for myself."
Liam Twomey of ESPN FC noted the youngster still seems hesitant to discuss his long-term future:
As a homegrown player, Hudson-Odoi is understandably popular among the Chelsea supporters. The club's fans were delighted to see him introduced as a substitute in Feb. 24's Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, which ended in a defeat on penalties:
However, in addition to his status as an academy graduate, he's showcased flashes of massive potential in his first-team appearances that have suggested he could succeed in a more prominent role.
In 10 cup matches for the Blues this season, he has three goals and three assists. Whether on the right or the left flank, the 18-year-old's quick feet, burst of pace and composure in the final third have made him difficult to contain.
With that in mind, Chelsea supporters would have been concerned about the interest from Bayern in January, not to mention that the player appeared keen on the move.
Per Ed Aarons of the Guardian, the Blues potentially have another problem:
Former Chelsea captain John Terry told the club's official website in the wake of the Carabao Cup final loss that he wants to see more of the club's rising stars before the end of the season:
"We've got people like Hudson-Odoi and it's important to keep him. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, is he ready? Let's find out. If we're not going to win the league then let's give him a chance in the league. Let's blood the younger players and see what they've got."
Paul Brown @pbsportswriter
John Terry on #CFC kids: "We’ve got people like Hudson-Odoi and it’s important to keep him. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, is he ready? Let’s find out. If we’re not going to win the league then let’s give him a chance in the league. Let’s blood the younger players and see what they’ve got."
One of the best ways to convince Hudson-Odoi that Chelsea is the best club for his development will be giving him more opportunities. Not only in the UEFA Europa League—in which the Blues face Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of the last 16 on Thursday—but in the Premier League too; he's only played 74 minutes of top-flight football this term.
Hudson-Odoi clearly has an attachment to the club. However, you sense Chelsea will need to show a little more faith in him if the youngster is to commit his long-term future to the Blues.