Callum Hudson-Odoi’s eye-catching performance against Krasnodar on Wednesday night will have served as an important reminder to Frank Lampard.
For all of the attacking talent brought in this summer, Chelsea still have one of England’s most gifted young wingers on their hands, even if he has not progressed as rapidly as many expected.
It was unsurprising that there were rumours of Hudson-Odoi’s potential exit in the summer given he was mostly used as a substitute last season. Bayern Munich were reportedly interested late in the window, too, as Chelsea had signed Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, and Timo Werner.
But Hudson-Odoi clearly still has a point to prove at Chelsea. He is only 19 years old, but expectations are so high that it feels like there is a need for him to perform well in every game.
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It could be that the new arrivals this summer have proved the ideal motivation for the England international, who will now be fully aware of the serious competition for places. He can’t afford to be inconsistent if he wants to start regularly in this team.
Hudson-Odoi certainly took his chance on Wednesday evening. He scored his first Champions League goal as Chelsea eased to a 4-0 win over Krasnodar, although there was an element of luck involved for the teenager.
Cutting in from the left, his low shot should have been saved by goalkeeper Matvei Safonov, who allowed the ball to squirm through into the net. Still, it was a deserved goal on what was an encouraging night for Hudson-Odoi.
He looked lively throughout, linking up well with Werner and Ziyech. The latter – making his first start for Chelsea – may have been the standout performer, but Hudson-Odoi will have given Lampard more to think about.
It would have been easy to forget about him after such an indulgent spending spree. Fans, understandably, were dreaming of a front…