Former Premier League defender Martin Keown insists that Chelsea should retain Callum Hudson-Odoi’s services or else risk losing their identity.
According to The Sun, Bayern Munich have launched a £30m bid for the 18-year-old already this month and they are hopeful of arranging a deal for the youngster before the end of the January transfer window.
The teenage winger has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Stamford Bridge this season, with just one Premier League appearance to his name, but he has impressed in rare outings during cup competitions.
His latest chance to shine came in the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest on Saturday and he contributed two assists as the Blues ran out 2-0 winners in the third round tie.
Here’s Callum Hudson-Odoi talking about switching from the left side to the right side yesterday… ? pic.twitter.com/cA3wiHTjor
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 6, 2019
According to BBC pundit Keown, Chelsea must keep hold of Hudson-Odoi for one key reason, with their ability to produce and attract young talent at risk if they sell him to Bayern.
“If Bayern Munich are prepared to pay £30m for one of your players, surely that is a sign you should keep them,” Keown wrote in his latest column for the Daily Mail.
“It is to Callum Hudson-Odoi’s great credit that one of the biggest clubs in world football see that he has a future at the highest level.
“Chelsea should view him as a part of their future for the next decade, not an asset to be sold.
“Every time a homegrown player makes it into the first team at a club, it gives the whole academy a huge lift.
“Whenever a player with Hudson-Odoi’s ability is allowed to leave, it must be demoralising for all the coaches who have worked so hard to develop them.
“Chelsea continue to attract some of the best young players, but for how long will that continue if even a player as good as Hudson-Odoi cannot get a first-team place?”
Chelsea officials have made it clear that they have no intention of letting Hudson-Odoi leave, but the player himself might fancy the prospect of playing regular football in the Bundesliga, particularly given the rise to prominence of another homegrown talent in Germany – Jadon Sancho.
Sancho has enjoyed a breakout year with Borussia Dortmund and is now being praised as one of the best young players in European football, while also earning himself a call-up to England’s international squad.
Hudson-Odoi has the potential to be similarly successful but he could also thrive in the Premier League with Chelsea if given regular minutes – though under Maurizio Sarri’s stubborn leadership, it remains to be seen whether or not he will be granted that opportunity in the near future.