Boehly's Chelsea revolution continues after £65m purchase for new stadium
Callum Hudson-Odoi’s goalscoring debut for Nottingham Forest has once again thrown doubt over the wisdom behind Todd Boehly’s Chelsea vision. The former Chelsea academy player joined the club as a six-year-old but was sold this summer for just £3million.
He was offloaded to make room for the bloated collection of foreign stars the new owners have brought in during their turbulent first 15 months in charge.
Unlike the new arrivals at Stamford Bridge, Hudson-Odoi was able to hit the floor running for his new club, scoring in the 1-1 with Burnley at the City Ground on Monday night. Despite still being a couple of months short of his 23-year-old birthday, he already has over 150 senior appearances for club and country.
That is experience which Mauricio Pochettino is badly lacking in his injury-ravaged squad. Chelsea’s policy is to target younger players and the club have signed no fewer than six attack-minded players under the age of 23.
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This summer, Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson, Deivid Washington and Angelo have followed Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke into the club – and they have struggled to find their feet. Even now, with their Chelsea careers well underway in the case of the latter two, that £177m outlay has netted a combined total of just 85 games in English football – barely more than half of what the ready-to-go Hudson-Odoi can boast.
And by the same token, the 11 goals playing for English clubs those six players have managed is comprehensively out-gunned by Hudson-Odoi’s personal tally of 18. Undoubtedly, Hudson-Odoi had plenty of chances to stake a claim to a regular Chelsea place after breaking through to the first team initially as an 18-year-old.
However, aside from a few fitful periods of form, he has failed to keep his place under a number of different managers. But he has always remained a useful squad player and exactly the sort of raw material Pochettino thrives on working with.
At Tottenham, the Argentine’s success was built on academy graduates Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Ryan Mason, Danny Rose with Oliver Skipp blooded in towards the end of his watch. In many ways, Hudson-Odoi might have been the ideal go-to player in the current crisis at a time when other homegrown youngsters such as Levi Colwill, Conor Gallagher and Reece James are being given their head.
But having been sent off on loan to Bayer Leverkusen last season, Hudson-Odoi has never been given a look-in. Homegrown talent remains a blind-spot for an owner who sees the grass on the other side of the fence as being as green as the dollar bills he seems determined to flash around.
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