Many fans seem to wonder why Bayern Munich are so interested in Callum Hudson-Odoi when his parent club, Chelsea, do not see him as a first team player
Bayern Munich have shown strong interest in Callum Hudson-Odoi in recent years, with Chelsea tying him down recently with a bumper five year contract.
The English winger has long been believed to make a switch to the Allianz Arena, but any transfer this summer failed to materialise.
After a summer of speculation, Callum Hudson-Odoi put an end to years of speculation on his future by signing a new five-year contract at Chelsea.
Barely nine months ago, the promising youngster had handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move to Bayern.
Chelsea were able to pacify him and assure him if regular game time, which made Odoi sign a five year deal to stay at Stamford Bridge.
One year has passed and the cycle threatens to repeat itself.
Hudson-Odoi is once again the subject of interest from the Bundesliga giants, with the young winger’s future up in the air once again.
“We negotiated with Chelsea but there was no agreement,” Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed after another their last bid in the final week of the summer window was rejected.
Such intense and sustained interest from the reigning European champions surely has Hudson-Odoi asking why he isn’t a more important figure at Chelsea.
The 19-year-old winger has started only one of Chelsea’s four Premier League games this season after starting just seven games in total last season.
Persistent Injuries has been a factor in Hudson-Odoi’s lack of game time though, but even when he is fit, Frank Lampard constantly overlooks the winger in favour of other options.
Now, why exactly are Bayern so interested in Hudson-Odoi when Chelsea seemingly aren’t?
When Hudson-Odoi signed a new long term contract at Chelsea last year, the club appeared to be making an effort to recognize homegrown stars from their almost forgotten youth setup.
Tammy Abraham, Billy Gilmour, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori all broke through and there was an opening for Hudson-Odoi on the right wing.
This summer, however, Chelsea splashed the cash on a number of top quality stars who can play in Hudson-Odoi’s wing.
Hakim Ziyech arrived from Ajax for £34m and Kai Havertz a £71 million addition from Bayer Leverkusen.
The pathway to the top for the youngster now has a lot of obstacles on it.
Hudson-Odoi’s key strength is his ability to come out ontop in one-on-one situations.
He forces opposition defenders and full backs into making decisions too quickly.
He is a difference-maker with the capability to break open a game with his direct running.
The teenager is technically gifted on the ball, possesses an unnatural pace and acceleration and has a sharp eye for goal.
An undervalued aspect of Hudson-Odoi’s game is in the variety of creativity he offers.
In terms of his movement, he likes to burst past his man to provide a cutback, but can also cut inside from the right side.
His crossing is also varied – either a whipped or a floated delivery.
Hudson-Odoi is a highly effective chance creator, charting 0.29 xA per 90 minutes from 3.13 passes into the penalty area per 90 minutes for Chelsea last season.
Last season also saw Hudson-Odoi chart 3.3 dribbles per 90 minutes (in the Premier League) as well as 6.7 crosses per 90 minutes.
At Bayern, this would have made the teenager their joint-second most prolific dribbler (after Thiago Alcantara) and their third most prolific crosser (after Alvaro Odriozola and Joshua Kimmich).
At Bayern, Hudson-Odoi would also find the competition stiff for a starting spot.
The Bavarians already boasted two of the best wide men in Europe in Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry, with Leroy Sane also added to their squad over the summer.
Alphonso Davies is even capable of playing as a winger, albeit on the left side.
Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan SalihamidzicWe negotiated with Chelsea but there was no agreement
However, following the depatures of Ivan Perisic and Phillipe Coutinho, an opening for the youngster opened up.
What’s more, Hudson-Odoi would be a good fit for Hansi Flick’s style of play which sees wide men given the freedom to interchange with each other.
While the 19-year-old is primarily a right-sided player, he has been known to operate through the centre on the counterattack, sending runners left and right of him.
Hudson-Odoi isn’t the finished article. There are times when it appears the teenager is playing within himself.
Far too often he will pass back inside, or even backwards, to recycle possession when the opportunity was there to drive at an opponent to create a chance or open up space in behind.
While Hudson-Odoi carries a goal threat, his xG numbers are still lower than they could be. He could carry an even greater goal threat with more conviction.
Under the right stewardship, though, Hudson-Odoi has the potential to flourish into one of the game’s best wide creators.
A year ago, he made the decision that Chelsea was the place for him to realise that potential.
A lot has changed since then, but Bayern’s interest has remained a constant. Maybe next time he’ll take them up on it.
Well, time will answer the question of Why are Bayern so interested in Hudson-Odoi over the next few seasons.