Callum Hudson-Odoi believes he is getting ‘back to his best’ as his encouraging pre-season continued with another impressive 45 minutes in Chelsea blue.
The winger looked sharp in our 1-1 draw with Charlotte FC, playing in a wide right role before being withdrawn as one of 10 changes at the break. Fellow wideman Christian Pulisic had handed us the lead before a last-minute penalty saw the hosts send the tie to a shootout, that ended 5-3 to the MLS side.
Results aren’t overly important at this stage of pre-season, as we continue to work up our fitness levels, and Hudson-Odoi was pleased with the workout – especially on a personal level following an injury-disrupted past four months.
‘This pre-season has been very good for me,’ said Callum. ‘I missed a lot of games last season through injury, so this is important for me to play.
‘I’ve been injured for the last four months and this is important for me, to get fitter, quicker, stronger and sharper like I was before the injury.
‘Getting more minutes is good for me but also for the team. We’re still trying to get fit, pushing ourselves to the max in each game and each training session and this is just another step forward in that sense.
‘Personally, I’m feeling good now. I worked hard to get back fit, we stuck to the plan and I think you can see now that I’m back to how I was before and now I just want to keep pushing on.
'It was definitely scary at the time [his injury] because it was a freak injury. I don’t really know how it happened, just one day I went into training and I just didn’t feel right. My body felt really stiff and I just couldn’t generate any power when I was striking the ball, so it felt really weird.
‘I’m happy with where I’m at now and I just want to keep moving forward.’
One player who has impressed Callum since arriving at Chelsea is Raheem Sterling, someone he has played alongside for England and admits he looks up to.
‘Raheem has had a big influence in the dressing room already,’ Hudson-Odoi said of the new Blue. ‘We knew what sort of player he was anyway, he’s a top, top player and that’s highlighted with what he’s done in his career for club and country.
‘For myself, it’s good to look up to someone like him and see if I can replicate his numbers in terms of goals and assists and the way he dribbles and things like that.
‘It’s definitely good to have someone like him in the squad. He’s a great personality in the changing room and he’s someone who wants to help the team, win more trophies and be the best he can be for Chelsea.’