‘He still has a bright future ahead of him’: Gianfranco Zola backs Callum Hudson-Odoi to succeed at Chelsea after Bayern Munich’s loan bid for England forward was rejected
- Bayern Munich failed with their final bid to sign winger Callum Hudson-Odoi
- European champions wanted him on loan with a buy option of over £80million
- Frank Lampard says winger is back in his plans after starting the last two games
- Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola says Hudson-Odoi can fulfill potential at Blues
Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has urged his former club to do all they can to keep hold of Callum Hudson-Odoi because of the teenage winger’s ‘huge potential’.
The England international has been at the centre of a remarkable power struggle with Bayern Munich after the European Champions’ audacious bid to sign the 19-year-old was rebuffed on transfer deadline day.
The German giants offered to take Hudson-Odoi on loan with an option to sign him next summer, which Sportsmail understands was for a fee of more than £80million.
Callum Hudson-Odoi will be staying at Chelsea despite strong interest from Bayern Munich
Lampard, pictured with Hudson-Odoi last season, wants to keep the winger at Chelsea
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace – in which Hudson-Odoi started and played well – that he wanted to keep the winger and it seemed certain on transfer deadline day that he was staying put.
Lampard said Chelsea would have only let him go if it suited the club but also suggested Hudson-Odoi’s own wishes would be taken into account.
But former Chelsea assistant coach Zola now wants to see the player focus on his future and prove he can establish himself in the Blues first team on a regular basis.
‘When you are talking about a young player you are talking about how good he is and how good he can become and certainly Callum is one of those players who has huge potential,’ Zola, 54, told Sky Sports.
Club legend Gianfranco Zola (pictured) backs Hudson-Odoi for a ‘bright’ future at Chelsea
‘It will be down to him to keep working and improving, but in my opinion he has a bright future ahead of him because he has qualities not many players have.
‘Now it is down to him to use those qualities in the best way. You don’t have to just work on your game, you have to work on yourself. This is the last step to becoming a big, big player.’
After signing a new contract at Chelsea in the summer of 2019, Hudson-Odoi came back from a serious Achilles injury but had seemed unlikely to start this season following the signings of Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
They can all play in wide positions, with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic, when fit, also seemingly more likely to play.
Lampard has been impressed with Hudson-Odoi and wants him to remain part of the squad
But it looks as though Lampard has decided he wants to keep Hudson-Odoi at Stamford Bridge for now, although there is a chance Bayern could make another attempt to sign him in January if he falls down the pecking order.
Speaking after the win over Palace, Lampard added: ‘Also what Callum wants will come into consideration. At the minute I want Callum as part of my squad, particularly when he’s offering up what he offered up in the second half and when he came on against West Brom.
‘I think Callum’s performance particularly in the second half today when he got more aggressive and got past his full back on the outside was exactly what he needs to show.’
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