The winter transfer window is notoriously known for over-inflated transfer fees and panic buys, but the window of 2019 has been quite different so far. In the Premier League we've sen a strange lack of movement but that could all change as we approach the deadline, which is now just under 3 days away.
There's been plenty of big moves touted and one that continues to make the headlines is that of Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi. Despite never starting a Premier League game for the Blues there's been bids of up to £35m made by Bayern Munich for the 18 year-old and with him approaching the final year of his contract - this a move that could happen. But is it the right one for his career? We've assessed his options below..
Stay at Chelsea
The easiest option for Hudson-Odoi would be to remain a Chelsea player and it's something that would go down a treat with their supporters. The Blues fans haven't been afraid to hide their admiration for the youngster following some dazzling performances in the few minutes that he has actually got on the pitch. Maurizio Sarri has said that the 18 year-old is now 'ready' to become an important member of the first team squad and said that he's up there with Willian and Pedro when it comes to starting on the flanks for Chelsea, but despite this he still hasn't started a Premier League game. The cup competitions are were he's featured and he's made a big impact, with him contributing 3 goals in 2 appearances in the FA Cup which included scoring against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.
But what makes staying at Chelsea unappealing is their track record with talented young players. The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku have all been shipped out in the past after getting no game time and Hudson-Odoi only has to look at teammate Ruben Loftus-Cheek to see how frustrating it can be sat out on the sidelines. He impressed on-loan at Crystal Palace last season & made England's World Cup squad but he's since found it immensely difficult to nail down a spot in the Blues packed engine room - something which is clearly playing on Hudson-Odoi's mind with Bayern sniffing around.
His deal at Stamford Bridge is due to expire in the summer of 2020 so despite him being just 18 years-old he's now approaching a big a major moment in his career and it's important he gets this right. Many media outlets reported last week that he had turned down a new mega £85k a week deal to remain in West London and has recently handed in a transfer request so the wheels are clearly in motion - but if Chelsea can give him some Premier League starts and hang onto him after the window closes they may be able to convince him that his long-term future remains at the Bridge. But Chelsea's record with young players in the past doesn't stand them in good stead, so it's going to be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Hudson-Odoi is in an extremely fortunate position with him already being on the books of one of the biggest clubs in Europe, but when Bayern Munich are interested it is incredibly difficult to say no. The Bundesliga giants are the most dominant club in German football and they're regulars when it comes to the latter stages of the Champions League, so the lure could prove to be too much. They have some of the worlds best players and the Allianz Arena is up there with the best stadiums, so Chelsea have a real fight on their hands to keep their man. But Bayern's squad isn't getting any younger and they're in need of new recruits, particularly on the flanks where club legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are approaching the end of their careers.
Young blood has already started to be bedded in with Kingsley Coman and former Arsenal man Serge Gnabry seeing plenty of minutes and that'll only increase when the two R's depart - which means that Hudson-Odoi could very soon become a first team regular. At Stamford Bridge he's competing with the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro so the situation is very different if he remains with the club he's been at since he was just 7 years-old. Also the Bundesliga is a division that's known for encouraging youth development and two prime examples of that are Hoffenheim's Reiss Nelson and of course Borussia Dortmund and now England international Jadon Sancho.
Sancho's bargain £8m move from Manchester City to BVB looks like one of the best deals in recent times and he's absolutely torn it up since arriving in Germany, nailing down a place in the first team and breaking into the England set up. This season he's contributed a staggering 15 goals (6 goals 9 assists) in just 12 twelve Bundesliga starts and both Bayern and Hudson-Odoi have clearly taken inspiration from his success when it comes to this potential transfer. Sancho's move to the Bundesliga has opened the door up to more English talent moving abroad to get game time and moving to Bayern could see Hudson-Odoi become just as successful.
With the clock ticking on the winter transfer window there's not a lot of time left for Hudson-Odoi to complete his big money move to Germany before the end of the season. His reported transfer request shows that he's desperate to make the move abroad and after weighing up all his options, we think that it's definitely the best decision for the sake of his career. Whilst he might not start every game straight away for the Bavarians, he will certainly be in line to do it in the very near future with the departures of stalwarts Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben in the pipeline & after seeing the success of Jadon Sancho he knows that the Bundesliga can provide plenty of success for young English players.
Another thing that must be tempting him to move are the upcoming UEFA Nations League Finals in Portugal next summer. Gareth Southgate has made it clear that he wants to bring through young players into the senior set-up and if he can get some minutes under his belt there's no reason why he can't challenge for a spot in the squad - just like Sancho. However, if this move doesn't come to fruition now he will hold all the cards in the summer when he enters the final year of his deal, where both he and Chelsea will need to come to a compromise or they risk losing him at a cut price.
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