Chelsea have already boasted one of the most potent forward lines in the Premier League, but the addition of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech broadened Frank Lampard’s options even further. Nobody is assured of their place in the team.
It’s therefore important that when opportunities arise, they are grasped. Callum Hudson-Odi did this with his outstanding performance against Ligue 1 side Rennes on Tuesday night, finding the back of the net with brilliant strike as Chelsea clinched their place in the Uefa Champions League knockout stages with a 2-1 win.
The 20-year-old reminded Frank Lampard that even with so much expensive attacking talent at Stamford Bridge he shouldn’t be overlooked.
Against Rennes on Tuesday evening, Hudson-Odoi wasted little time in making a good impression, as he putting a goalscoring opportunity on a plate for Werner after just three minutes.
His first-time, right-footed cross into the six-yard box was perfect but German hitman Werner somehow managed send his close range shot over the bat when hr should have found the back of the net as England star was denied an assist.
Not long after that, Hudson-Odoi found the back of the net himself. The talented winger spotted the opportunity to run in behind the Rennes defence after the hosts were caught high up the pitch. Mason Mount spotted his team-mate run and put the ball in his path with an excellent pass from deep. Hudson-Odoi still had a lot to do from there, but showed composure to slot a low finish past the Rennes goalkeeper.
Ben Chilwell provided Chelsea with width down the left-side, pushing high up the pitch and permitting Timo Werner to cut inside to link up with Abraham. On the right-side, though, it was up to Hudson-Odoi to provide a wide outlet, with Cesar Azipilicueta far more reserved in his attacking ambition down in the flank.
Ligue 1 side Rennes found a strong foothold in the game as they grew into the contest, with Hudson-Odoi required to help out in his own half. Even when the French side were seeing more of the ball, though, the winger provided Chelsea with an outlet to relieve some of the pressure building on themselves.
Europe tends to bring the best out of Callum Hudson-Odoi. In fact, only Frenchman Olivier Giroud has scored more continental goals for Chelsea (11) since the winger’s Blues debut in October 2011. The England star has proven himself as a difference maker for the Stamford Bridge outfit at the highest level of the game.