Confident Callum

Chelsea’s newest debutant is Callum Hudson-Odoi. The 17-year-old was brought on for the final 10 minutes of Sunday’s FA Cup win over Newcastle, adding to what is already a memorable season for the attacker.

He declared himself ‘delighted’ to now be a Chelsea first team player when he spoke after the game, and he feels training with the squad and success at junior international level helped prepare him for this landmark in his career.

‘I have grown up here from starting when I was eight years old and I have progressed really well,’ he said. ‘I am really happy to have made my debut. The manager showed faith in me when he brought me on and I am really happy with that, and hopefully I made a good impact when I came on.

‘I was not at all nervous. I have been training with the players a lot and I feel I have been gaining confidence with them and I hope it showed on the pitch, that I was confident to get on the ball and just do my stuff.’

In October, Hudson-Odoi was one of five Chelsea players who helped England win the Under-17s World Cup held in India. He had an outstanding tournament.  

‘I felt playing with them and winning that was a boost for my confidence,’ he confirmed. ‘As soon as I came back to train with the first team here I felt my confidence was there. I like to get on the ball and hopefully it showed on Sunday.

‘Hopefully it was the first of many games and hopefully I just keep progressing well and developing.’

The native Londoner is also topscorer in our development squad’s run to the semi-final stage of the Checkatrade Trophy during with they defeated senior sides for the Football League. They now take on Lincoln away on Tuesday 6 February.

‘That is another big trophy as well,’ he says. ‘I think we have progressed really well in that tournament and we are one stage away from Wembley which is a massive opportunity for us.

‘We have been winning Youth Cups and doing well and this tournament would mean a lot to us because we are probably one of the underdogs to win it. We are obviously a young team and we have not gone far in this tournament before, and getting this far is a massive achievement already.

‘If we can progress to the final, that will boost our confidence even more, and if we get to Wembley it will be a massive opportunity for us all to show what we are good at.’ 

Hudson-Odoi debut v Newcastle