Callum Hudson-Odoi said Wednesday he was frustrated at Chelsea during last season and spent time being tempted by a potential move to Bayern Munich.
Ultimately, Hudson-Odi didn't join the Bundesliga giants, opting instead to remain with his boyhood club. He talked about Frank Lampard's role in making him feel valued at Stamford Bridge.
It took just a single conversation between Lampard and Hudson-Odoi to convince the 19-year-old winger to stay put, per Matt Law of The Daily Telegraph: "I can't say exactly what he said, but he made it clear that if I believe in myself then he believes in me and things will go well for me at this club. And he wants me to play for him."
While Lampard encouraged Hudson-Odoi, the England international recounted how he didn't always feel so wanted at Chelsea. Things were different when predecessor Maurizio Sarri was still in charge and Bayern were showing interest: "There were times last year where I felt a bit of frustration or times when I wanted to play more because I love the game. I was thinking, 'what happens if I do that [go to Bayern]?'"
Hudson-Odoi believes remaining with the club he started with at seven was the correct choice.
"Definitely," he told the Guardian's David Hytner when asked if it was the right decision to snub interest from elsewhere and remain at Stamford Bridge. He continued:
"I'm really happy that I stayed at Chelsea. I've been there all my life, I've loved the club from day one. Obviously, the academy boys who have come through are playing loads of games and it's just a good bond. and this is where I want to become a key player.' Doing it at the club where I've been is a massive thing. Does it feel more special? Definitely."
It's an interesting take since the teenager is still far from a regular in Lampard's best starting XI.
Injuries haven't helped, but Hudson-Odoi has still made just five starts in all competitions so far this season. Recovering from a ruptured Achilles stunted his development, but Hudson-Odoi has shown flashes of his undoubted potential since his return.
Reaching landmarks at such a young age hasn't always been enough to please Lampard, per Law: "He is hard on me, but it's in a good way because he wants me to improve and keep getting better."
Hudson-Odoi still having a lot to learn is reflected in the way he's yet to lock down a regular spot on the flanks. Instead, Christian Pulisic has been thriving since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
Meanwhile, Willian is still a part of Lampard's plans, despite links to Barcelona, according to Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.
There is no shortage of competition ahead of Hudson-Odoi, but Chelsea need to be mindful of the need to give him ample minutes this season. Without them, he is likely to re-emerge on Bayern's radar, given how keen Die Roten were earlier this year.
Seeing the success Jadon Sancho enjoyed after swapping the Manchester City academy for a first-team role in Dortmund likely played a part in Bayern's interest. Since then though, the Munich club has refreshed itself on the wings after waving goodbye to veterans Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and overseeing Serge Gnabry's rapid rise from Arsenal flop to legitimate star.
Yet even if Bayern are no longer at the front of the queue, there will be no shortage of suitors if a player with Hudson-Odoi's eye for a pass, pace and technique is denied his chances at Chelsea.