Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has revealed how he convinced youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi to remain at Stamford Bridge.
Hudson was heavily linked with a move away from the Bridge with Bayern Munich tipped the favorites to secure his services. The England international handed in a transfer request back in January but the club could not allow him to leave with the Blues rejecting a £35m bid from the Bundesliga giants. The 18-year-old ended speculations surrounding his future as he signed a new long-term contract with Chelsea on Thursday. And now Lampard has revealed one of his priorities after becoming the head coach was to make the winger aware of his first-team plans.
"Pretty much as soon as I got the job I made contact with him to make him aware I want him to be part of the plans," Lampard revealed.
"He’s a young lad who has come through the academy here, the club’s worked hard with him, he’s worked hard to get one foot in the first team, for me, it just feels it was what everybody wanted. It was away from me slightly in terms of the club will deal with the contract in itself but I made it clear I want him at the club because I believe in his talent."
"I also know that a five-year contract is signed the hard work really starts for him. He’s got everything in front of him. We know the talent he has, I think there is a lot more and it’s pure hard work that will get him there. A lot of the talk [about Hudson-Odoi leaving] was before me, a lot of that talk was from last season and I only saw it from the outside."
"The only conversations I had were were not persuasion, they were just how I see it at the club. Hopefully, he can look at the other younger players getting their opportunities, which are not just handed on a plate, they are handed because they deserved them because they worked so hard in pre-season when you talk about Tammy [Abraham], Mason [Mount] and Fikayo [Tomori]. ‘There’s a nice thing for him to see and hopefully, he’ll be hungry for and now it’s signed and sealed we can put that to bed and get to work."
Hudson-Odoi's contract with the Blues is set to expire in the summer of 2024.