Sports News of Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Antonio Rudiger has revealed that Callum Hudson-Odoi has asked him about life in Germany after Bayern Munich made an increased £35 million ($45m) bid to secure the teenager in the January transfer window.
Hudson-Odoi’s selection to start Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat by Tottenham at Wembley in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals was a shock, but he gave a good account of himself in a match that Chelsea were unlucky to lose.
Chelsea are struggling to keep hold of their wonderkid, who has not shown any interest in renewing his contract which expires in 18 months and Bayern have confirmed their interest in the 18-year-old.
Amid the prospect of a move to the Bundesliga, Hudson-Odoi has been questioning his Berlin-born team-mate Rudiger about life in Germany.
“Of course, he asked me about Germany,” Rudiger told reporters at Wembley Stadium. “It was just a general question from him to know, because he is still young. I can advise him. But at the end of the day he decides about his future.
“He can develop as well here. You can see it from both sides. Of course, he can develop in Germany as well and don’t forget Bayern Munich is also a big club. It is something he needs to decide for his future. I wish him all the best, but for me I just wish he stays with us.
“We don’t need to speak about him too much. He is good, everyone knows that, everyone can see that. But he is still 18 and at that age you can’t look too far ahead. People have to give him time. For me he is an upcoming star, but he still needs to work hard.
“Of course, as a young player it’s very important to play. Where it is? I hope it will be here.”
Bayern are willing to offer the number 10 shirt to Hudson-Odoi, with Arjen Robben expected to leave the club in the summer, and it places Chelsea at a crossroads moment over whether to keep a youngster who looks keen to leave.
Hudson-Odoi’s outing against Spurs was only his 12th senior professional appearance, making the proposed fee all the more remarkable, but Rudiger believes that his team-mate lives up to the hype, despite his inexperience.
“To be honest, of all the young players I have seen at Chelsea, he is the shooting star for me,” Rudiger added. “He has all the tools to become a big player, but he has to work a lot. I think for him everything is going very well at the moment.
“He is a young lad and has less pressure so he can show what he can do. He did very well and caused a lot of problems to them. He is trying very hard. You have to because he is a young lad and is on his way forward to the next step so he needs to improve where he can.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea had 17 shots against Spurs as their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal and inability to create that real golden chance once again proved to be their downfall in a match.
Nevertheless, Rudiger was hopeful after the match as his side put in a strong performance and he thinks that his side will overcome Spurs at Stamford Bridge in two weeks’ time to secure a place in the Carabao Cup final.
“Of course, we want to win, but this is decided over two games and 180 minutes,” he said. “We lost 1-0, I’m not happy with that, but I’m honestly happy with the performance we put on. The last time we were here, we went 1-0 down and then let in the second and third one.
“This time we showed maturity and we were in the game. Of course, we can cause any teams problems. It will be a tough match for sure because they have one guy [Harry Kane] who likes to score. It is hard to keep him quiet. Okay, one time he scored but we kept him in good hands.
“What we have to do better is find that clear chance. Everything was nice shots from afar, we didn’t make it too complicated for the keeper.”