Although few neutral fans of football knew the name of Callum Hudson-Odoi a few months ago, the 18-year-old Englishman is the January transfer window’s hottest property.
Despite only making a handful of appearances for Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi’s reputation has soared as his club have reportedly turned down many bids from Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Hudson-Odoi has added further intrigue to the saga after reportedly turning down a new contract at Chelsea. In turning down the £85,000 a week deal, Hudson-Odoi has kept all his options open and has perhaps signaled his intent to leave Chelsea. Though any international move can be unsettling and challenging for a teenager, a move to Bayern Munich could transform and shape Hudson-Odoi’s career. Moreover, in my opinion, a move to Bayern Munich is precisely what a talented starlet like Hudson-Odoi needs to kick-start their career.
There are many reasons why Hudson-Odoi should move to Germany. Though perhaps the most crucial reason Hudson-Odoi should move to Bayern is based on the experiences and exploits of Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho in Germany. Nelson is a 19-year-old English forward who is currently on loan from Arsenal to German club Hoffenheim. The young attacker has scored six goals in the Bundesliga to date and has also played Champions League football for his loan club. Meanwhile, fans of his parent club Arsenal, the media and some pundits have earmarked the player as a future Premier League star. However, Nelson was a widely unknown entity before his move to Hoffenheim, and one would argue that without his move abroad he wouldn’t have received the acclaim that he is getting now and the expectation that will be placed on him in the future.
Bigger and more heralded though is another British teenager, Jadon Sancho. Sancho has shone for Borussia Dortmund since his move to the German club in 2017. Sancho has played regularly for his new club in the Bundesliga and Champions League, and has been a critical player in Dortmund’s title push this term.
Meanwhile, Sancho’s consistent form has earned him three England caps, something that is quite sparkling for a player who has only played two years of professional football. Sancho would have never even got close to the English first team had he still been at Manchester City, and one may argue that he may have still been playing youth team football had he stayed in England. Nelson and Sancho are fantastic examples of how German football can revolutionize a career, as is Christian Pulisic who will properly join Hudson-Odoi’s club Chelsea in the summer.
Though some such as Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane have broken through into English first teams, the opportunities for young players are generally few and far between at the upper echelons of the Premier League. Hudson-Odoi should question the playing time he may get at Chelsea, and he should ask whether he could be Bayern Munich’s version of Jadon Sancho.
Hudson-Odoi should also take note of the global fame of Bayern Munich’s youth development program, and ask how Bayern Munich will improve him. Bayern Munich developed a good majority of Germany’s famed modern players. Think of Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, Phillip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger. All four men are World Cup, Bundesliga, and Champions League winners. Hudson-Odoi must question whether Bayern Munich can catapult him to the same level as the aforementioned men. Surely any move to Bayern Munich is a worthwhile one based on their record of developing players alone, not to mention their status as one of world football’s greatest clubs.
Though staying at Chelsea may seem sensible for an 18-year-old young player, a move to Germany and Bayern Munich could transform the career and life of the possible future star of the game.