Callum Hudson-Odoi is an attacking player who joined the club during his Under-8s year and has regularly been a scorer and creator of goals throughout his schoolboy years. He is a very talented, skilful individual who can play in any of the attacking positions.
A regular with our youth team in the 2016/17 season, he played a key role in our Treble-winning success at that level that year, including goals in the fifth round, semi-final and final of the FA Youth Cup.
The following season he combined first-team duties with helping our development squad to the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy and the Under-18s to another FA Youth Cup. He scored twice in the final.
In January 2018, he made his senior Chelsea debut when he came on in an FA Cup win over Newcastle United, and he made a further three sub appearances that season, including his first in the Premier League in a home match against Bournemouth.
Having impressed during pre-season in the summer of 2018, including starting the Community Shield against Manchester City, it was confirmed the teenager would be part of the senior squad for 2018/19.
After a couple of substitute appearances in the Europa League, he then started the game against PAOK and capped an impressive performance by scoring his first Chelsea goal in the second half (below).
Hudson-Odoi began to feature more regularly early in 2019 and assisted both goals for Alvaro Morata in an FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest, before starting the first leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham, when he performed well and struck the post in the first half.
He scored further goals against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, and Malmo and Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League. He started four consecutive Premier League games in April and impressed before an Achilles injury brought a season full of promise to an unfortunately premature end. He finished the season with 24 Chelsea appearances and five goals to his name.
On 19 September, Hudson-Odoi committed his future to Chelsea by signing a new five-year contract.
A week later came his long-awaited return to action, which he marked with a goal in a big Carabao Cup victory over Grimsby. He either started or came off the bench in our next 10 games in all competitions, proof of a smooth comeback after so long out for such a young man.
He featured more often as a substitute as Frank Lampard preferred more experienced heads during the early winter months, but Hudson-Odoi returned to the starting line-up in January to score in consecutive matches, against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup and Burnley (below) in the Premier League.
An injury in February kept him out of action until after the suspension of football due to the Covid pandemic ended, being a regular off the bench as we secured a top-four finish in the closing stages of the campaign and starting the Champions League last 16 second leg away at Bayern Munich.
Having played an increasingly prominent role during the 2019/20 season, Hudson-Odoi continued that trend by taking the next step in his development and featuring regularly, albeit as a substitute, in the Premier League. That did see him come off the bench at half-time to play a big role in our fightback from three goals down to draw 3-3 away at West Bromwich Albion, scoring our second.
The winger had an even bigger impact on the early stages of our Champions League campaign, featuring in our first five group games and opening the scoring in away wins at Krasnodar and Rennes, his first two goals in Europe's top club competition, before an injury ruled him out for much of our difficult December.
When he returned from that injury just in time for Christmas, it was to a Chelsea team which was struggling for results. However, his exciting performances from the bench were one of the few positives from the turn of the year, as he injected some much-needed energy into the side.
He also showed a consistent end product, finding the net to provide a consolation in the defeat to Manchester City, in addition to helping get our FA Cup run off to a good start with a goal and an assist in the 4-0 win over Morecambe, and setting up Tammy Abraham’s third goal of the victory against Luton Town in Frank Lampard’s last game as Blues boss.
The big surprise on Thomas Tuchel’s first team sheet as Chelsea head coach was the appearance of Hudson-Odoi in an unfamiliar wing-back position, but it proved to be an inspired decision as he delivered one of the stand-out performances from that draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
That newfound versatility proved important, as the now 20-year-old could alternate seamlessly between his new wing-back role and that of a more traditional winger, as the game and opponents demanded. Tuchel’s appreciation for that option was shown by the fact Hudson-Odoi featured in 13 of the 19 Premier League fixtures under his management, and every FA Cup game except the semi-final.
Although still a schoolboy, he represented England Under-17s at the 2017 European Championship for that age group, scoring in the final as the young Lions were ultimately beaten on penalties by Spain.
Later in the year, he featured at the Under-17 World Cup as England inflicted revenge by going all the way and beating Spain 5-2 in the final. Hudson-Odoi featured in every game at the tournament and assisted three goals against the Spanish to add another medal to his 2017 collection.
He made history by becoming Chelsea's youngest-ever England international at just 18 when he was given his senior debut in March 2019. That also made him the youngest person to make their England debut in a competitive match.
He was brought off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the Three Lions' big Euro 2020 qualification win against Czech Republic at Wembley, having a hand in the fifth goal of the night. He then started for England a few days later in Montenegro, registering an assist for his Chelsea team-mate Ross Barkley.
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