Why Chelsea must sell Callum Hudson-Odoi
Background photo: Vespa, CC-BY-SA 3.0
According to reports, Bayern Munich is readying a bid for Chelsea’s Callum Hudon-Odoi. The Bavarians are prepared to slap an additional £10 million on the £35 million which was turned down in January. Is the young Englishman interested, or would he prefer to continue his development at Stamford Bridge?
Chelsea's decision-makers don't have a definitive answer. That’s why it’s time to take the money and run.
Despite the transfer market's inflation, not many 18-year-olds have attracted interest like Hudson-Odoi. The attacker left tongues wagging when he reportedly handed in a transfer request. Not long after, Bayern tabled a mouth-watering offer. The Blues knocked it back, stating their player was not for sale.
In the commotion, Hudson-Odoi excelled, proving himself statistically better than both Willian and Pedro. His fine form under Maurizio Sarri earned him a senior England call-up, shortly followed by a debut. Sadly, though, he ended the campaign with a ruptured Achilles tendon, preventing him from playing a part in Chelsea's Europa League success in Baku. The injury means he will likely be ruled out until mid-September.
Despite Hudson-Odoi’s absence, Bayern remains undeterred. They want him and are willing to pay. Chelsea could easily bring in £50 million. The same record amount they paid for Fernando Torres nine years ago.
News of Hudson-Odoi's transfer request incensed some among the Stamford Bridge faithful. Those who still don't believe it happened can’t argue with the fact he is refusing to sign the contract extension on offer.
His situation paints a worrying picture. Chelsea could lose him for free in less than a year.
It's thought Frank Lampard is keen to retain his services. Hudson-Odoi's issue may regard playing time or salary. The one certainty right now is that there's a stalemate. It's bad for all involved. Particularly the club.
It’s easy to think Hudson-Odoi has Chelsea by the jugular. Especially considering the club's transfer ban. The truth is, he doesn't.
The Blues have Willian, Pedro, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount who can all play wide. If Lampard manages his team well, those four can replace what's lost.
Hudson-Odoi played brilliantly this past season, mostly in the Europa League. But he simply isn't there yet. His talent requires plenty of nurturing.
Regardless whether he pens an extension, Hudson-Odoi isn't available for the new campaign's start. During that time, Chelsea can find a working system, one which doesn't involve the want-away winger.
Chelsea can't lose
Should Bayern be desperate for Hudson-Odoi's signature, Chelsea stand to benefit provided they do some smart business.
Inserting a buy-back clause, for instance. The Blues could add a sell-on clause of up to 25% as well. That way, they can either get the player back once he's refined or earn a fair commission if he's sold to another team.
Selling Hudson-Odoi now would nip this problem in the bud. Teenagers must not be encouraged to hold clubs to ransom after showing a flash of greatness.
Should Hudson-Odoi move to Bavaria, Chelsea will gain an influential friend. Bayern's status is massive across Europe. Such means they get to pick off the Bundesliga's top youth. It could open the door for the Blues to mine some of that talent.