Many have shared their opinions since Chelsea’s utterly shambolic performance at Manchester City. Various reports paint an uncertain future for Sarri, as is customary for every Chelsea manager during a bad spell. More than anything, everyone wants to see a change of personnel and tactics. The upcoming run of fixtures presents Callum Hudson-Odoi an opportunity to stamp his mark on Chelsea’s season. Our tactical analysis looks at how Odoi could come in and make a lasting impact.
The 18-year-old winger was sought-after by Bayern Munich throughout January and submitted a transfer request to try and secure a move. The club rejected the request and made it clear he wouldn’t be sold and is important going forward.
It’s CHO time!
Callum Hudson-Odoi has played in one of three games since the transfer window shut, after five in eight last month. This certainly raises concerns but European fixtures against Malmo either side of the Manchester United FA cup game ends that.
The recent embarrassing defeats naturally prompts changes for cup games and Hudson-Odoi has to take his opportunity to kick on. He totals two goals and three assists in six Europa & FA cup appearances and his live-wire displays are much-needed. Certainly, the fans want to see one of our own contribute to getting our league season back on track.
How ready is he?
Sarri recently stated the need for his wingers to stay wide to create space and chances for the striker. According to his heatmap above, he spends most of his time far wide as opposed to in the box. Trying to isolate his fullback to create 1v1s, which he’s so good at, and whip in dangerous crosses. He is the best crosser of the first team wingers and his ability to stretch defences is an under-used weapon.
Additionally, he takes 2.5 shots and 2.5 key passes per game, completing 3.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Europa League. Hudson-Odoi completes 27.8 passes per game with a 90.1% success rate, showing that he’s comfortable in the high-possession system.
Despite paltry numbers in the league due to few opportunities (74 total minutes), he has 84% successful passes. He succeeded with 100% of his attempted dribbles and won 78% duels.
Quite rightly, these league statistics come from the tail-end of games against tired defenders but take nothing away. Hudson-Odoi is doing the best he can and surely deserves more opportunities especially ahead of the under-whelming senior players.
Hudson-Odoi has been consistently good in cup games but this quadruple of cup fixtures has a different feel for him. His presence and lively performances would help to lift the general mood of the fans provided Chelsea win.
The manager should look to the lad to inspire the team, crucially, Sarri must involve him more from now on in. His time in the team has come provided he maintains his cup form, maybe its the Italian who owes him now.
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