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Hudson-Odoi: Leaving for Bayern was on my mind but I’m happy at Chelsea

10:59 GMT+3 10/01/2020
Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea 2019-20
The England international winger was heavily linked with a move to Germany 12 months ago, but he is now tied to a new contract at Stamford Bridge

Callum Hudson-Odoi claims he was never “close to leaving” Chelsea, but admits to having mulled over the option of linking up with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Back in the winter transfer window of 2019, a move to Germany became a distinct possibility for the England international.

With regular game time in short supply under Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge, Bayern readied big-money bids for an exciting teenage talent.

All advances were knocked back, with Chelsea making it clear that they had no intention of parting with another promising academy graduate.

That show of faith in Hudson-Odoi was eventually rewarded when the 19-year-old committed to a lucrative new contract, with the youngster now in a position to reflect on a “rollercoaster year”.

“I was talking about it with the family and thinking, ‘I just want to play games,’ and at that moment I wasn’t playing enough,” Hudson-Odoi told The Sun on the interest shown by Bayern.

“I wouldn’t say I was close to leaving but it was on my mind. What happened in January happened. But I signed my contract and I’m happy here now —  everything is going well.

“It’s been a rollercoaster year. A lot of things have happened which made me learn and think about stuff. I just needed to get back, be confident, be myself, score, assist — and show what I can do.”

Hudson-Odoi, with only 48 club outings to his name, concedes that he is still learning as a senior professional.

The exit talk, along with a serious Achilles injury, has forced him to grow up quickly, but he claims to be a better player and person for those experiences.

“I’d say I’m grateful — I feel fortunate with what has happened,” added Hudson-Odoi.

“The injury is an experience that you learn from because I didn’t know about these things before.

“It happened to me for the first time. And the transfer request taught me about that kind of situation.

“The England thing, the Champions League debut, and a change of manager has taught me a lot. So I would say ‘experienced’ is the word.

“I’m much more mature now, it’s made me wiser.   It makes me think everything has happened for a reason — so I should be grateful and give thanks to God.

“There are times when I sit back and think to myself what a crazy 12 months it has been. Good or bad, everything happens for a reason. So you have always got to be grateful.”

Hudson-Odoi was back among the goals in his most recent outing – a 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest – and is hoping to play a more prominent role under Frank Lampard over the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign.