Former Chelsea midfielder Jeremie Boga believes Callum Hudson-Odoi will be a big success in the future whether that be at Stamford Bridge or somewhere else.
Like Hudson-Odoi today, Boga similarly was earmarked as one of the top prospects in Chelsea’s youth academy. Yet as the Ivorian midfielder struggled to break into the Blues’ senior squad, he had decided to move on to Serie A side Sassuolo on a permanent basis in the summer of 2018.
In contrast to Boga, the 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi has made his breakthrough into the senior squad this season, having already made 19 appearances in all competitions. His steady progress for the west London side this term saw him earn his maiden call-up into the England squad this month and as he entered as a 70th-minute substitute in the match against the Czech Republic, he became the youngest ever debutant for the Three Lions.
His impressive performances did not go unnoticed, though, as Bayern Munich came in with multiple bids in order to lure the Wandsworth native to the Allianz Arena last January yet Chelsea rebuffed the German club’s advances, inspite of Hudson-Odoi having handed in a transfer request as well as having not signed a contract extension, with just over a year left on his current deal with the west Londoners.
With the England international winger not intent on signing a new contract with Chelsea owing to a lack of assurances over significant playing time, the club may be forced to consider letting Hudson-Odoi leave this summer than risk losing him for free when his contract expires in the summer of 2020.
Boga, however, reckons Hudson-Odoi could still have a bright future ahead of him at Stamford Bridge should he get his opportunities, although the former Chelsea midfielder did point out that the 18-year-old would still be a success if he does decide to move elsewhere.
“I think it isn’t an easy decision for Callum, but everyone has their own opinion,” said the former Chelsea midfielder. “I think you see him now exposed to the national team, then maybe that will help him get playing time at Chelsea.
“If not, I think there will be a lot of clubs wanting to buy him in the summer. I think no one should worry about his future.”
The 22-year-old Boga, who joined the Chelsea academy as a 12-year-old in 2007, remembers seeing Hudson-Odoi already making an impression during an Under-12s match and even then, he reveals he was convinced that the Chelsea winger is destined to the top.
“I met him during pre-season with Chelsea and saw videos of him before he broke through. I thought he was a top talent straight away. He is getting the opportunity he deserves, and maybe he could get more,” added Boga.
“I would tell him to keep working hard and to wait for his chance. Keep playing as he does. I remember it was a long time ago when I first saw him. I saw him when I went to watch the Under-12s play. He looked older than everyone else, he was doing tricks, step-overs and we were all saying then that this guy will be a top player in the future. That’s one of the things I remember.”