Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack reckons Callum Hudson-Odoi should ignore interest from Bayern Munich and stay at Stamford Bridge.
Hudson-Odoi has steadfastly refused to sign a new contract offered before the current season has started owing to a lack of assurances over regular playing time at Stamford Bridge. Currently tied to Chelsea until the summer of 2020, the explosive 18-year-old winger was the subject of heavy interest from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich last January, with the Bavarians having had multiple bids rejected by the Chelsea hierarchy, including one worth £35 million.
The London-native also had a transfer request rejected by the club as he is desperate to leave Chelsea in search of regular playing time yet Maurizio Sarri has so far been reluctant in utilising Hudson-Odoi on a regular basis, limiting the winger’s appearances to just 15 times in all competitions this season. Moreover, Hudson-Odoi is yet to start a Premier League match under the Italian, who had also mentioned that he needs to let go of a seasoned winger in order for the 18-year-old to play regularly.
Former Blues midfielder Ballack believes the relative success abroad enjoyed by Hudson-Odoi’s fellow England youngsters Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson has had the 18-year-old head seriously consider the prospect of moving to Bayern yet he urges Hudson-Odoi to forget about the Bundesliga club and instead fight for his place at Stamford Bridge.
“I wanted to play when I was young,” said the former Chelsea midfielder. “If I grew up in a club like Chelsea, I would want to stay at Chelsea, and Hudson-Odoi is one of the biggest talents in London and England, so I would stay and try to make my way.
“But, of course you want time on the pitch and want to be involved, and if you don’t get the feeling then you will look to the right and the left and other clubs who have an eye on you, that’s normal. But I hope that Chelsea will sign the contract because he’s the future for the club. I hope he gets more time on the pitch.”
Ballack added that the talented 18-year-old is already primed for regular Premier League football although he stressed the need for Sarri and Co. to exercise caution with Hudson-Odoi.
“He is already on a level where he can play in the Premier League day-in, day-out,” added the former Germany international. “Sometimes the coach has to know how to handle him because he can’t play every game when the pressure is on. But overall he should be happy at Chelsea, playing at a big club.”