New Chelsea boss Frank Lampard plans to hold talks with Callum Hudson-Odoi to assure him of his role in the team amid interest from Bayern Munich.
Hudson-Odoi is one of the most promising young English talents to emerge after graduating from the Chelsea youth academy in 2017.
At 18, Hudson-Odoi has already debuted for the England senior team and played a big role in Chelsea’s Europa League success last season.
But the teenage winger was left frustrated by his lack of regular opportunities at Stamford Bridge last season. Much to the club’s horror, he then handed in a transfer request in January to push through a move to Bayern Munich in Germany.
With Hudson-Odoi’s contract to expire next year, Chelsea were put in a tight spot – either sell him for around €35m or possibly lose him for nothing next summer.
Ultimately, the London club opted to turn down Bayern and retain Hudson-Odoi. Head coach Maurizio Sarri then handed him more minutes on the pitch towards the end of last season before he departed for Juventus.
But the Italian’s exit appears to have done the trick in persuading Hudson-Odoi to stick around at Chelsea. Reports are even claiming that he’s set to sign a new long-term contract worth £100,000-per-week.
And now Lampard has opened up on his determination to hold on to this promising young talent.
“He [Hudson-Odoi] is going to be central for us on the pitch and that is the opportunity that is really in front of him now,” said Lampard, according to Goal.
“So that’s what I will speak to him about and I hope he stays.
“I am not going say things that are pie in the sky. I am not going to say: ‘This is all going to be your way’. But knowing his talent he can be central to this team, he can be central to an England team.
“I am going to say I want to work with him, I want to drive him forward. I want to improve him as a player and he can show right here at Chelsea, the club he came through the academy at, that he is going to be an absolute world-class player – because I truly believe that.”
When quizzed on the Hudson-Odoi & Bayern saga in January, Lampard replied: “I don’t know what the position was too much last year.
“What I do know that before Callum got injured you could certainly see when he got opportunities he was playing well. He was showing the player that he is.”