(Photo Source/Credit- The Telegraph)
Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi started in Chelsea’s 1-0 loss tonight against Tottenham in the 1st leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final at Wembley.
The Chelsea youngsters appearance came in the midst of the fact that there had been a significant update in Bayern’s pursuit of the Chelsea winger. The German club have launched a new and improved bid for the youngster today- More information on this bid is found later on in the article.
Back to tonight’s game, and Hudson Odoi would have only had one thing on his mind, and that would have been helping the Blues moving a step closer to the final.
The youngster started tonight’s match in a front three with Willian and Hazard. Interesting news was that Morata wasn’t even in the squad for tonight’s game. Does that suggest that he is closer to leaving Chelsea than Hudson Odoi?
Morata has been in talks with a move to Sevilla. So from the looks of it, Morata alongside Fabregas look like two Chelsea players who look near the exit. But if Morata goes soon, that would mean that Chelsea would have a replacement lined up.
However Sarri did reveal before kick off that Morata was out with a minor hamstring injury suffered in training. Quashing rumours that he is near the exit. But there could be something in the rumour, who knows…
The other interesting news from Chelsea’s starting line up was that Christensen was picked over Luiz in a back two with Rüdiger, and Barkley started ahead of Kovacic in a midfield three with Jorginho and Kante.
Tottenham fielded a very strong team, but the likes of Gazzaniga, Rose and Winks started for the North-Londoners.
Into the match, and the first goal came in the 25th minute, when a long ball over the top of Chelsea’s defence by Alderweireld evaded the whole Chelsea defence, and Kane ran through and took it around Kepa who wiped the Spurs striker out. The original call was offside but VAR cleared it up and gave it a penalty after a two minute delay.
However footage after the game from Chelsea’s side showed Kane’s top half of his body to be offside. But they had a different camera angle on the decision, whereas VAR looked at one angle that showed Kane to look onside.
Azpilicueta was guilty of playing Kane onside on that occasion. The Spurs striker then slotted the penalty to the right of Kepa who was rooted to the spot, as he expected Kane to go down the middle.
Chelsea took while to respond, but hit the woodwork twice through Kante and Hudson-Odoi before half-time.
Hudson-Odoi was arguably Chelsea’s most dangerous player in the first half. He added another dimension to Chelsea’s attack. The young Englishman had two good chances in the first half, and played significantly better than Willian. So should he really be sold over Willian? However, one criticism of Hudson-Odoi in that first half was that he always cut in, so had a predictability to some of his play in that first half. He needed to mix it up in
This game called out for a Giroud at half-time. Hazard needed a target man to play off as he looked very isolated in the centre-forward position in the false nine.
The game was so uneventful in the second half. Kante had a long range shot midway through second half that was parried away by Gazzaniga. And the best chance of second half came from a Chelsea corner which was flicked on by Barkley and landed to an unmarked Christensen from close range who went with his wrong foot and consequently missed his chance from close range.
The only Tottenham chance to extend that lead in the second half came very early on through a Kane rocket effort from outside the box which was well saved by Kepa.
Tottenham were defensively resilient and sharp on the attack. Chelsea were defensively strong on the whole but had zero cutting edge going forward. So it is all to play for in the second leg, but if Chelsea want to win this game then they need to sign a striker before the return leg to even have a chance.
Hudson-Odoi was very quiet in the second half, and was replaced by Giroud in the 79th minute. The worry for Chelsea fans is that tonight’s game could be his last game for the club.
Latest on the future of Hudson-Odoi (Quotes Credit- Goal.com Correspondent @NizaarKinsella)
News came out earlier today from Sky Sports that Bayern had bid a fourth time time of more than £35 million for Callum Hudson-Odoi. And this figure meets Chelsea’s valuation.
Sky Sports have revealed this if the deal goes through, there will be no buy back clause. In Fact, Chelsea want a sell on clause, meaning that if Hudson-Odoi leaves Bayern, then Chelsea will get some money from the deal.
Reports also came out from Germany today that Chelsea and Bayern had agreed on a fee for Hudson-Odoi, however Chelsea were reluctant to sell until the summer.
However Goal contradict this and say that Chelsea are yet to either accept or reject Bayern’s latest offer for the Chelsea youngster. Goal also reported earlier today that despite this fourth bid, Hudson-Odoi was expected to start, and they were correct as he did start.
The fact that Chelsea want to wait till the summer to sell may suggest that they are hoping the young English winger will change his mind. And a big factor that may change his mind is the game time he gets from now till the summer. So there could be big pressure on Sarri and Zola to play Hudson-Odoi in order for him to stay.
Sarri and Zola have tried to ward off interest in quite a few press conferences by lauding the talent of Hudson-Odoi, but it looks like to no avail so far as Hudson-Odoi has yet to agree a new deal with the Blues, and Sky Sports report that he’s asked to leave the club.
Sarri said on Monday that it would not be a good move for Hudson-Odoi to go to Bayern.
“I don’t think so, because he’s an English player, he’s very young,” Sarri told reporters at Cobham Training Centre . “He has the future and I think he has a very great future here, with the national team and with Chelsea. I think to stay here is better for him.
“I know, for me, he is a very important player. He’s young, but he’s improving. He played really well in the last match.”
And the worrying thing is that Niko Kovac (the Bayern Munich manager) had revealed last weekend that he is very interested in Hudson-Odoi and has followed his progress carefully.
“[Hudson-Odoi] is from the same year as [Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon] Sancho, which was very successful,” he explained to reporters on Saturday.
“It is completely normal that we are aware of and are following the player. For if and when something will happen you will have to ask Brazzo (Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic).”
Bayern are so desperate to sign the Chelsea youngster, that they are willing to offer him the number 10 shirt worn by Arjen Robben, who looks destined to leave Bayern at the end of the season.
It’s clear to see that the fact that Jadon Sancho’s transfer from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund has been so successful so far, has led to Bayern Munich wanting the same success with another English youngster and therefore Hudson-Odoi has been the chosen one for the German giants.
RB Leipzig are another German club who hold a strong interest in the Chelsea youngster, but at this moment it looks likely that if he was to leave Chelsea in January or the summer, it will be to Bayern Munich.
If Chelsea do end up selling Hudson-Odoi, it would mean that Pulisic would be his replacement which is what many Chelsea fans feared.
Hudson-Odoi’s future is still up in the air, but at this moment he looks destined to leave despite featuring in tonight’s game. But can Chelsea get him to change his mind?
Comment down below what you think will happen with Hudson Odoi and what you thought of his performance tonight.
By Danyal Khan