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‘Hazard exit helped convince Hudson-Odoi to stay’ – Chelsea starlet asked about Bayern, says Rudiger

1:12 PM GMT+4 09/01/2020
Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea 2019-20
The exciting teenage winger at Stamford Bridge had been mulling over a move to Germany before getting the assurances he needed from the Blues

Callum Hudson-Odoi asked about Bayern Munich when talk of a move to Germany started to build, admits Antonio Rudiger, but a transfer ban and departure of Eden Hazard convinced the talented teenager to stay at Chelsea.

There were serious fears that the promising academy graduate would slip the net at Stamford Bridge.

A year ago, with another winter transfer window open, it was suggested that Bundesliga champions Bayern were prepared to spend big on prising Hudson-Odoi’s potential away from west London.

No deal was done and the England international would go on to pen a lucrative new contract at Chelsea.

His head was turned at one stage, though, with Blues team-mate Rudiger revealing that it took the sale of Belgian star Hazard to Real Madrid for Hudson-Odoi to realise that he could find the regular opportunities he craves.

“Of course he asked me about Bayern Munich back then. I told him that it was of course a great club,” Germany international defender Rudiger told Sport Bild.

“The fact that he chose Chelsea is only logical for me. 

“The transfer ban and the departure of Eden Hazard, which we had been expecting for a long time, made it clear that Callum would get more appearances.”

Having eventually snubbed a switch to Bayern, Hudson-Odoi is now counting down the days to a potential outing against them.

Chelsea have been drawn against the German giants in the last-16 of the Champions League, with Rudiger saying of that challenge: “Bayern have dominated the Bundesliga in recent years, this season it looks a little different - and that could also be our chance. 

“Although we have had a year of upheaval this season, we have shown, for example in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool or at the end of November against Manchester City, that we can be on par with top teams.”

Rudiger will have a vital role to play against Bayern if selected by Frank Lampard, with the 26-year-old set to come up against the prolific Robert Lewandowski – a striker he holds in the highest regard.

“For me Mauro Icardi, Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski are the best No.9s in recent years,” said Rudiger.

“Lewandowski seems to have got even better this season. 

“I have great respect for him. It will be a difficult challenge to survive against him. We can only solve that problem through collective effort.”

The first leg of Chelsea’s clash with Bayern will take place on February 25, but they have some testing domestic games to come before then as their upcoming Premier League schedule includes meetings with Arsenal, Leicester, Manchester United and Tottenham.