After putting pen to paper on a new contract at Stamford Bridge, we take a look back at the best moments so far in Callum Hudson-Odoi’s fledgling career for club and country.
Earlier today, the 18-year-old signed a long-term deal to commit his future to the Blues. From dazzling for our Academy teams and starring in FA Youth Cup finals to being crowned a world champion with England, it has certainly been an eventful and fruitful journey to the top for the Wandsworth winger.
Almost a decade after joining our Academy as an Under-9, Hudson-Odoi made his Chelsea debut in an FA Cup fourth round tie against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. It marked the rapid rise of a youngster who had long been tipped to reach the top by peers and coaches at Cobham, having excelled playing in older age groups.
The then-17-year-old replaced Pedro for the closing stages of the 3-0 win and did the same a month later as we beat Hull City en route to lifting the famous old trophy for an eighth time at Wembley.
First senior goal
It took the teenager an hour into his first competitive start before he opened his goalscoring account for the Blues. The Greek side PAOK were visitors to SW6 in the Europa League group stage and Olivier Giroud’s brace had given us a comfortable cushion before Hudson-Odoi struck.
Collecting a pass from fellow Academy graduate Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the forward darted into the box and shifted the ball on to his favoured right foot before whipping it inside the near post from 15 yards out. A moment the youngster had grown up dreaming about had been fulfilled and he celebrated with a knee-slide in front of the delighted home fans.
Emirates double secures second FA Youth Cup title
The final was hardly finely poised when Hudson-Odoi struck at the Emirates, with Jody Morris’s side having already added to their 3-1 first-leg lead through Billy Gilmour. However, it was an illuminating display from the forward that lit up the red corner of north London, with a 20-minute brace securing a record-equalling fifth Youth Cup triumph in five years for the Blues.
Both goals owed much to his cool head and mesmerising footwork, with the Gunners defenders twisted into all kinds of positions before they were eventually forced to surrender to Hudson-Odoi’s superiority. It took him to double figures in the 2017/18 competition and secured his second individual triumph.
Stunning solo goal
A memorable individual effort against Liverpool at development squad level in the winter of 2017 provided further evidence of the youngster’s enormous potential. Picking the ball up inside our own half, he embarked on a dazzling dribble that pierced right through the heart of the Reds defence, beating three defenders before sitting the goalkeeper on the floor and slotting the ball in from a narrowing angle.
On top of the world
As part of the England Under-17 squad that headed to India for the junior World Cup two years ago, Hudson-Odoi scored the young Lions’ opening goal of the tournament against Chile in the group stage. He went on to convert his spot-kick in the shoot-out win over Japan in the last-16 before claiming two assists in the final as England beat Spain 5-2 to be crowned world champions.
Less than 18 months later, he was a senior England international as Gareth Southgate handed him a first cap as a substitute at Wembley in a European Championship qualifier against Czech Republic. As ever, his impact was conspicuous and swift, with a strike at goal late on parried by the goalkeeper and rebounding off the unfortunate Tomas Kalas for England’s fifth.