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Callum Hudson-Odoi coy on early Chelsea return

Callum Hudson-Odoi coy on early Chelsea return

Chelsea attacker Callum Hudson-Odoi has refused to close the door on an early return to Stamford Bridge from his loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen.

The 21-year-old made the temporary move to the Bundesliga side in the summer after falling down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel and has featured regularly under Gerardo Seoane this term.

Hudson-Odoi has made six appearances for Leverkusen in all competitions – starting five of them – and he has registered one assist for the German club so far.

However, Leverkusen have failed to win any of their four Bundesliga games in which Hudson-Odoi has featured in, and Chelsea possess the option to recall the attacker in January.

While his loan spell with Leverkusen is not due to run out until the summer months, Hudson-Odoi stopped short of committing himself to the Bundesliga club for the entire season.

Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrates scoring their third goal on November 23, 2021© Reuters

“It’s not up to me, I don’t know… I can only do what I can do now, give everything that I can,” the Evening Standard quotes Hudson-Odoi as saying. “We don’t know what’ll happen between January, or from now until the end of the season, so we just wait and see.”

Prior to making the late switch to Leverkusen, Hudson-Odoi had failed to feature in any of Chelsea’s first five Premier League games of the 2022-23 season – not even making the squad for two of them.

Injuries have not helped the three-cap England international, whose last full season under Tuchel saw him register three goals and six assists from 28 appearances across all tournaments.

Hudson-Odoi only started 11 Premier League games for Chelsea in 2021-22, though, and his most recent appearance in the top flight came all the way back in January against Tottenham Hotspur.

The arrival of Graham Potter could lead to Hudson-Odoi being handed a fresh start at Chelsea, where he has totalled 16 goals and 22 assists in 126 outings since rising through the youth ranks.

RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku celebrates scoring their second goal on April 14, 2022© Reuters

Hudson-Odoi is currently butting heads with one of Chelsea’s prime transfer targets in the Bundesliga, as the Blues are supposedly closing in on a deal for RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku.

The 24-year-old is already said to have undergone a medical and approved a pre-contract agreement ahead of a permanent move to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2023.

However, Potter – as expected – refused to comment on the rumours in Tuesday’s press conference, saying: “I said before, my answer is I don’t speak about players that aren’t Chelsea players. If you want to ask about any Chelsea players, I’m quite happy to speak about them.

“But it was the same at Brighton. You get linked to a lot of players, and there’s a lot of names out there. And you can imagine it gets escalated when you’re at a club like Chelsea. But I’ll speak about Chelsea players and not comment about anyone else.”

Chelsea will aim to record their first victory of the 2022-23 Champions League at the third attempt when they play host to AC Milan in West London for Wednesday’s Group E clash.

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