Chelsea have yet to make a major summer signing ahead of the 2021/22 season. However, the Athletic report that Callum Hudson-Odoi will be remaining with the club. There had been rumours that the England international could be sold to raise funds, but they have been played down. Thomas Tuchel is believed to be a big fan of the 20-year-old. He used the winger a lot during his first few months in charge.
Hudson-Odoi has been spoken about at Chelsea for years. Their supporters have been keen to see him used more often since Maurizio Sarri was in charge. Despite the attacker being in the first team squad for a few years, he is still only 20 and he has plenty of time to break into the starting eleven.
Since he broke into the first team, his number of Premier League starts each season has risen from four to seven to ten in three seasons. There has been progression, but he will be hoping that this season is the one where he breaks into the first eleven. His number of minutes has increased season on season as well. In Tuchel, he has a manager that trusts him and that should bode well for his chances of making further progress.
In the Premier League, Hudson-Odoi has scored three goals and contributed nine assists. He averages a goal involvement every 191.9 minutes. This is a very impressive average considering his minutes have been inconsistent. He has never been able to find his rhythm in the first team, but he has continued to carry a threat when he is on the pitch.
Under Tuchel, he showed his impressive versatility. Hudson-Odoi has been used as a winger and as a wing-back. His ability to deliver dangerous crosses is what makes him appeal to the German, but there needs to be greater consistency in performance. Although there is a lot of competition for places at Stamford Bridge, he has the talent to become a key player for the Champions League winners.
Hudson-Odoi’s underlying numbers are impressive for a 20-year-old. He averages 0.23 expected assists per ninety minutes, which ranks him in the 77th percentile when compared to other wingers. Further to this, he rates even higher for shot creating actions and progressive carries. For the former, he averages 3.99 per ninety minutes and for the latter, he averages 11.87 per ninety minutes. The Chelsea winger rates in 78th percentile and 98th percentile for these two stats respectively.
It is clear, both in the stats and on the eye, that Hudson-Odoi is an elite ball carrier capable of breaking lines. That is a quality that allows him to stand out and why he has been linked to some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Expectations have been high since his breakthrough as a teenager, but he is still moulding his game and there needs to be patience.
Tuchel is the right coach for him at this time. Sarri and Lampard didn’t seem to fully trust him. He has that with Tuchel and it will be interesting to see how he is utilised this season. This could finally be the long awaited breakthrough for Hudson-Odoi. His career has been full of promise to date and there is reason to believe the best is yet to come.