Scout report: Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi

Callum Hudson-Odoi made his full England debut before his first Premier League start; has the lowdown.

Ones to watch: Callum Hudson-Odoi

According to team-mate Eden Hazard, Callum Hudson-Odoi "has everything already"; allow to introduce the teenage Chelsea winger.


Scout notes

Name: Callum Hudson-Odoi
Age: 18
Club: Chelsea
Position: winger
Country: England
2018/19*: 23 games, five goals

Who is he?

Chelsea's homegrown attacking midfielder has burst onto the scene this season, thriving particularly in the UEFA Europa League.

What makes him so good?

Watch Hudson-Odoi's first Chelsea goal
Watch Hudson-Odoi's first Chelsea goal

A prototype modern forward, Hudson-Odoi is quick, direct, comfortable off either foot – and therefore dangerous in one-on-ones – and has an eye for goal, as five competitive strikes this season testify.

Why is he the centre of attention?

Watch highlights of Hudson-Odoi's England debut
Watch highlights of Hudson-Odoi's England debut

Hudson-Odoi's goalscoring displays in the UEFA Europa League and domestic cup competitions earned him a first senior England call-up for March's European Qualifiers. He became the youngest player since 1955 to win his first cap in a competitive fixture when he appeared off the bench against Czech Republic, the Londoner's full debut following three days later in the Three Lions' 5-1 win in Montenegro. A first Premier League start arrived the following week.

Where has he come from?

Hudson-Odoi celebrates after scoring against Malmö in the round of 32
Hudson-Odoi celebrates after scoring against Malmö in the round of 32©Getty Images

"At the start I came from the U7s, so I think it's been a great journey," Hudson-Odoi, born just across the river from Stamford Bridge in Wandsworth, told recently, reflecting on his path through Chelsea's youth system to the first team, which included a 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup triumph with England and a 2018 UEFA Youth League final defeat by Barcelona.

When did he make his debut?

Watch highlights of Chelsea's home win against Dynamo Kyiv
Watch highlights of Chelsea's home win against Dynamo Kyiv

Hudson-Odoi made two appearances from the bench against BATE in the UEFA Europa League group stage, before scoring on his first senior start, a 4-0 win against PAOK at Stamford Bridge. Goals against Malmö and Dynamo Kyiv in the last 32 and last 16 mean he has scored in every round of this season's competition so far.

How far could he go?

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri suggests he "can become one of the best players in Europe," although the teenager's immediate task is forcing his way into the Chelsea starting XI on a regular basis. Once he manages that, there is more than enough potential for Hudson-Odoi to begin proving Sarri right.

What they say …

"I was lucky enough to train with the Chelsea Under-18s, and I saw him first hand. He actually stood me up a couple of times! You can't catch him. What he brings is power, pace, directness and fearlessness. He is a great player and he can be even better."
Joe Cole, former Chelsea midfielder

"It's impossible to be at the top when you are 18. He needs to improve, he can improve and I want him to improve because he can become one of the best players in Europe."
Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea coach

"I've got no doubt he has the ability to play at the highest level."
Harry Kane, England captain

"He is playing with a lot of confidence. He is still young and can improve of course, but he is already very good. If he wants to ask me something I will tell him, no problem, but he is a great player already. He has everything already."
Eden Hazard, Chelsea attacking midfielder

"There is no doubt he has all the things you want in terms of pace, skills and vision, but more importantly, he has a willingness to learn and an ability to work things out for himself on the pitch. He has one cracker of a trick, too, which is unusual. Unlike most players, he doesn't need to touch the ball wide first before striking it with more power; he has this very direct way of shooting with the ball almost straight in front of him."
Pat Nevin, former Chelsea winger

What he says …

Hudson-Odoi on England duty
Hudson-Odoi on England duty©AFP/Getty Images

"I'm never nervous. I'm always excited to see what the game holds for me. I'm always ready, no matter what the situation is."

"I've always had that mentality of working hard and proving to myself that I'm capable. I've always tried to be better than everyone else and work harder than everyone else. Even in the playground, I'd still run more than everyone else just to prove I was the best."

"I look up to everyone, but I especially look forward to training with Hazard, Willian and Pedro because that's where I play."

*appearance data includes games for Chelsea and England