Callum Hudson-Odoi to make Chelsea first-team return after the September international break as talks over a new five-year contract continue
- Chelsea have been in advanced talks with Callum Hudson-Odoi for over a month
- Hudson-Odoi has stepped up recovery from an achilles injury suffered in April
- Frank Lampard wants the youngster as part of his first-team set-up this season
Frank Lampard is ready to introduce Callum Hudson-Odoi to his Chelsea team next month after the youngster returned to training and with the details of a new five-year contract being worked out.
Chelsea have been in new deal talks with Hudson-Odoi, as revealed by Sportsmail last month, and he is now nearing a return after four months out with an achilles injury suffered towards the end of last season.
And Lampard sees the 18-year-old as a key part of his plans in an already-youthful team emerging at Stamford Bridge – starting next month.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to hand Chelsea a boost by returning to the first team next month
He returned to full training this week after surgery in Barcelona in April and has been earmarked for a return to action after the international break in the first two weeks of September.
Hudson-Odoi underlined his reputation as one of England’s best young talents after nailing down a spot in Chelsea’s first team setup during 2018/19.
He scored five times and set up five more goals in 23 competitive appearances, forced his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad, winning two caps, and also attracted strong interest from Bayern Munich.
A breakthrough has come as Hudson-Odoi has stepped up his recovery from an achilles injury
The German giants made a number of bids for Hudson-Odoi in January – the highest of £35m – and tried their luck again with a £22m offer this summer.
But Chelsea were adamant he would not be sold and have now dug deep to ensure he stays at Stamford Bridge.
Hudson-Odoi was tempted by the prospect of a move to Germany especially as he initially struggled for game time under former boss Maurizio Sarri until Bayern began firming up their interest.
The return of Frank Lampard as manager has helped convince Hudson-Odoi to stay put
The return of Lampard as manager, along with his former under-18s boss Jody Morris, and their willingness to show more faith in the club’s youngsters has helped convince Hudson-Odoi where his future lies and he can continue to develop at Chelsea.
Lampard confirmed he sees Hudson-Odoi being a big part of his plans.
He said in pre-season: ‘With Callum of course I want him to sign and stay here. He’s a player who’s come through the academy, he’s a player who can be a big player for Chelsea and England.
‘We as a club as a whole want him to stay, for sure. I think he knows he has a manager here who wants to work with him to improve, and that takes hard work.
‘Nothing is given, especially when you’re 18 years of age, but with all the attributes Callum has we want him to come through at Chelsea and be a big player for us now and in the future.’
Hudson-Odoi will become the third academy product to commit his long-term future to Chelsea since Lampard’s appointment, following midfield duo Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount.
Chelsea have high hopes for full-back Reece James too and they are also aiming to tie him down on a new deal.