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Hudson-Odoi will reach the top whatever happens this summer, says Boga

13:00 GMT+4 27/03/2019
Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea 2018-19
The former Chelsea man has been impressed by the progress made by the newly-capped England winger and believes no one needs to worry about his future

Former Chelsea youngster Jeremie Boga has little doubt Callum Hudson-Odoi has a bright future ahead of him regardless of whether he leaves Stamford Bridge this summer.

Boga was previously regarded as one of the biggest prospects in the Blues' academy, but he opted to leave the club for Sassuolo on a permanent basis back in July 2018 after struggling to secure first-team football.

Hudson-Odoi is now seen as the crown jewel of Chelsea's youth setup, having already made 19 first-team appearances in all competitions this term, while also making his senior England debut in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic.

The gifted winger's potential has not gone unnoticed elsewhere, though, and Bayern Munich are keen to lure him to the Bundesliga. Chelsea resisted the urge to cash in on the 18-year-old in the January window, but with Hudson-Odoi's existing deal due to run out in June 2020 and talks over a renewal unsuccessful for now, they might be tempted to sell come the end of the season.

Boga thinks Hudson-Odoi could still have a future at Chelsea if the club play him more regularly, but is adamant the England international will make it to the very top regardless of what he decides in the next few months.

"I think it isn’t an easy decision for Callum, but everyone has their own opinion," Boga told Goal. "I think you see him now exposed to the national team, then maybe that will help him get playing time at Chelsea.

"If not, I think there will be a lot of clubs wanting to buy him in the summer. I think no one should worry about his future.

"I met him during pre-season with Chelsea and saw videos of him before he broke through. I thought he was a top talent straight away. He is getting the opportunity he deserves, and maybe he could get more.

"I would tell him to keep working hard and to wait for his chance. Keep playing as he does. I remember it was a long time ago when I first saw him. I saw him when I went to watch the Under-12s play. He looked older than everyone else, he was doing tricks, step-overs and we were all saying then that this guy will be a top player in the future. That’s one of the things I remember."

Meanwhile, Boga is looking to make a name for himself at Sassuolo having left Chelsea on a permanent basis after previous loan spells at Rennes, Granada and Birmingham City.

The 22-year-old still had an ongoing contract with the Premier League outfit, but he felt the time had come to try his luck elsewhere and leave Chelsea behind.

"Yes, of course, it was the perfect time to leave Chelsea," Boga added. "Not because I wasn’t happy or things like this but I needed to progress in my career. It was the right timing, and I found the perfect project for that. I am happy that I left right now.

"For me, three loans were enough. I wouldn’t say it is bad to go on loan, but it is different when you actually sign for a club. When you go on a loan, you are maybe not fully part of the project. When you sign for a new club then it is entirely different, I feel like more part of the team and part of the project.

"Everyone is looking after me. Not like I am going to leave in the next year, but I am here for the whole time I have signed on. That’s the best part for me so far. I think my first aim for the future is just to complete a full year with Sassuolo because unfortunately this year I haven’t been able to do that.

"I want to complete a full season with Sassuolo while being more decisive. That’s more goals and assists. After that, you never know what can happen, but for me, my next goal is to complete a full season here.

"I chose Sassuolo because of the coach. We spoke many, many times before I came and I researched him. He is a coach who plays good, attacking football, which is my style of play. Now I am here, I am not disappointed. For me, he is the perfect coach to see me develop my game and to progress. I don’t know if I have done that since becoming a professional footballer. For me, it is progress. I now need to keep going and ensure I play more and more.

"It’s my goal to one day get back to a top club. That’s why I left Chelsea because I thought I would then develop more as a player and not always be on the club’s books. To do my own thing, be given a project. I found this club, and I aim to really push on and show people what I can do to reach my full potential which I haven’t yet done."

The 22-year-old endured a difficult start to life at the Serie A side due to injury, but has developed into an important first-team player in 2019, recently scoring his first goal for the club in the spectacular 5-3 defeat at the hands of Sampdoria.

He has now made 15 Serie A appearances, including games against Juventus, Napoli, Inter and AC Milan and he is thoroughly enjoying life in the Italian top flight.

"This is the best level that I have played at, and it is great to start five games in a row," he added. "It has been very good. In Italy, there’s a lot of top teams who play very well. Juventus, everyone knows. Napoli, Inter and Roma have been excellent games.

"It has been a very good learning curve for me to play against those teams. Teams like Napoli play good football, so it has been good to learn against a team like that. The best player I have seen on the pitch was Cristiano Ronaldo, of course.

"Everyone knows that but also Douglas Costa impressed me, the way he dribbles and his acceleration. I feel like I am a similar player, so I admire what he does."