Callum Hudson-Odoi has been handed a new role by Bayer Leverkusen as the German side attempt to succeed where Chelsea struggled with the loanee.
After being handed his professional debut as a teenager under Antonio Conte, Hudson-Odoi developed further under Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard. However, after struggling to hold down a starting spot in west London under Thomas Tuchel, he was allowed to move to Leverkusen on loan for the season.
With Tuchel now no longer Chelsea boss, and the Blues reportedly having a recall option on the 21-year-old, new manager Graham Potter may be keeping a close eye on the youngster. And Hudson-Odoi’s use in a more central role by Leverkusen may interest the Englishman.
Hudson-Odoi first established himself as a winger at Chelsea, and featured in the same position for England when he won his first senior caps under Gareth Southgate. However, Tuchel also attempted to use him in a wing-back role at times.
“When the manager first came in and he told me to play wing-back, I was just a bit in shock,” Hudson-Odoi said in 2021. “I thought it was a joke.”
Now, though, a third role has emerged for the London-born player, who has been tipped to switch his international allegiances to Ghana. As noted by BuliNews, Hudson-Odoi operated as a 10 for Leverkusen in their weekend draw with Werder Bremen, starting in the hole behind Patrik Schick with Moussa Diaby and Jeremie Frimpong either side.
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Leverkusen sit just outside the relegation places in the Bundesliga, but their two draws in Hudson-Odoi’s two starts represent a slight improvement. Gerardo Seoane’s team also picked up their first European points in September, beating Atletico Madrid at the BayArena.
“I’m definitely excited. I think it’s a new experience for me – I haven’t been anywhere else but Chelsea,” Hudson-Odoi told club media after moving to Germany. “So coming here, I’m delighted to be here and I can’t wait to get started with the boys, get going and hopefully do well.
“The project [is attractive]. I said to the family that I want to go out there and make sure that I’m playing football and get the opportunity to play in front of great fans. It’s massive for me to come here.”
He revealed Kai Havertz, who joined Chelsea from Leverkusen in 2020, had a part to play in convincing him to join the team which came third in the Bundesliga last season. ““He told me it’s amazing, obviously, that everyone around that he’s been with the past years have been amazing for him,” Hudson-Odoi said “He enjoyed every moment of it and he said you’ll love it over there – just go, do you and be confident and everything will go well.”