In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham says Callum Hudson-Odoi’s presence on the pitch benefits Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard speaks about Mason Mount’s dream to be a big player at Chelsea and the Blues are linked with a talented youngster from Brazil.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Hudson-Odoi brings out best in Hazard: Higginbotham
Speaking to Sky Sports, former Premier League defender Danny Higginbotham praised the impact of Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea, saying the youngster’s presence on the pitch works to the benefit of Eden Hazard.
Making his 19th appearance of the season for the Blues and first start in the Premier League on Wednesday, the 18-year-old impressed in our 3-0 win over Brighton, creating the opening goal for Olivier Giroud and almost scoring himself with a second-half header.
Said Higginbotham: ‘What I love about Hudson-Odoi is that he stretches the game so much. If you're a full-back, you don't want to leave any space in behind, so naturally you drop, and that means the rest of the back four have to drop as well.
‘He creates space between the opposition midfield and defence, and that's really difficult for midfielders to deal with. They don't want to drop too deep, and it's difficult for the centre halves because they don't want to push up too high.
‘It's not only Hudson-Odoi's individuality that's excellent for Chelsea in the way he's so direct, but it's how he actually creates space for other players in the team from the runs he makes.’
According to Higginbotham, the presence of the teenager works to the benefit of Eden Hazard.
‘More often than not, you see Hazard picking the ball up and he's surrounded by players, but against Brighton we saw him playing a little bit deeper, starting to get on the ball and find himself with time and space and that's because of Hudson-Odoi,’ added the former Southampton and Stoke City player.
‘It was Hazard's pass to Hudson-Odoi that created the goal and then we saw Hazard getting involved a little bit deeper. All that is possible because of the simple fact that you've got a player like Hudson-Odoi. He brings out the best in Hazard.’
Mount’s dream to be big player at Chelsea: Lampard
Media reports have suggested that German side RB Leipzig are keen to sign the 20-year-old, who impressed on loan at Vitesse Arnhem last season before joining Lampard at Derby County for the current campaign.
However, Lampard said that it is the youngster’s dream to be a star for the Blues.
‘I think he can be a top player. I know that's a broad statement, he's already been in an England squad but I believe he'll go back to Chelsea and be a big player for Chelsea. I know that's his dream,’ said Chelsea all-time top scorer, as reported by Sky Sports.
‘He'll play for his country I hope, because he has all the attributes on and off the pitch. He's a delight to work with, as all the players have been this season.’
Mount returned to action last weekend after a two-month injury layoff and scored in a 6-1 win over Rotherham as Derby continued their chase for a spot in the Championship play-offs.
‘It was hugely important (to have him back),’ Lampard added. ‘There's no doubt teams miss their top players because of what they give and he also rubs off on others.
‘It was his first game back so I think he'll get even better. His energy, quality and brightness - finding balls between the lines and playing the ball forward quickly certainly sets the tone for us.
‘I think other players up there game around him for that.’
Blues linked with Brazilian starlet
Despite the possibility of a transfer ban this summer, reports in Brazil are suggesting that the Blues are interested in signing Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes from Atletico Paranaense.
The 21-year-old was a key figure in Atletico’s 3-0 trouncing of Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday with Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte reporting that the Blues had a scout to watch the match.
However, Chelsea face tough competition to sign the youngster, who helped Atletico to win the Copa Sudamericana last year, with Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine, Lille of France and Italian sides Inter Milan and Napoli also expressing interest in him.