In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Cesc Fabregas talks about the potential of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Derby County fans are calling on Fikayo Tomori to stay after his excellent campaign with the Rams and a number of Premier League clubs are said to be interested in signing Reece James.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Fabregas impressed by Hudson-Odoi
Former Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabreas has told Goal.com about the big impression that was made on him by Callum Hudson-Odoi and praised the attitude shown by the teenager to work his way into the team under Maurizio Sarri.
Fabregas got to know the abilities of the 18-year-old winger at Chelsea before he left to join Monaco in January and related how much of an impression he had made while training with the squad.
‘He is a good boy who is full of confidence,’ said Fabregas. ‘I remember this first training session that we did with Antonio Conte. We did 11 against zero. Just to do a little bit of play and finishing. His finishing was superb.
‘I thought, I have never seen this kid before but actually he has something about him. It was very early and only the first day but you could definitely see something. Then the more he trained with us you could see that he was getting more confident. He was taking people on in training and he was not afraid.
‘You could see that he had a lot of potential. Slowly, slowly he grew up. He played a little bit more and in the end, there was nothing else that Sarri could do but play him. Very well deserved.’
While he recognised the potential of the 18-year-old, Fabregas also had sympathy with Sarri, who was often under pressure from Chelsea fans to play him
‘It is difficult because, from a manager's point of view, you are fighting for your job every day. In football today, you could lose two games and be sacked the next day,’ he added.
‘That's why coaches are sometimes hesitant to make changes or trust someone who doesn't have the experience or is too young. They can look good in training but then in a game situation, they could freeze or make a mistake.
‘The mistake could be in their head in the future if they aren't strong enough. I don't blame coaches too much. I know it is very difficult. Callum has taken it all very well. He kept working, he took it with a smile on his face and in the end, Sarri and the whole world knew he deserved to play.’
Derby fans want Tomori to stay
Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has taken to Twitter to thanks Derby County after his outstanding season at Pride Park, with a number of Rams supporters imploring him to stay in their responses.
Tomori was a mainstay in defence for Derby throughout the campaign, playing 55 games and being named their player of the year as they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League after losing 2-1 to Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final.
‘All I can say is THANK YOU to all my teammates, staff and fans for making me feel so welcome at this club since day 1,’ said the 21-year-old.
‘Unfortunately I couldn’t help get this great club back to the Premier League, but I’m so proud of what we achieved as a team this season.
‘We fell at the final hurdle but I’m sure this club will be back where it belongs and deserves and I’m able to take away memories for the rest of my life. COYR’
While he received a positive response from Derby fans, many were urging him to remain at Pride Park for another promotion push next season.
‘The memories don’t have to end!’ said one fan.
‘Don’t leave the. STAY,’ said another.
‘Come back next season and let’s finish the job!’ added one more.
Strong interest in James from Premier League rivals
The 19-year-old full-back was Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year in 2018 and he made a strong impression in his first senior campaign with Wigan when he was named in the Championship Team of the Season.
This has prompted a number of media reports linking him with top-flight clubs including Manchester United, Everton, Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Burnley.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, Everton boss Marco Silva and United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are all said to be big admirers of the defender, with United believing they may hold an edge in securing a deal as James’ younger sister Lauren plays for United’s women’s team.
However, the England Under-20 defender still has three years left on his contract with Chelsea and he expressed his delight after recently playing his first senior game for the Blues during our 3-0 win over New England Revolution in the Final Whistle on Hate match last month.