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‘I hope he stays’ - Hudson-Odoi 'central' to Chelsea's future, insists Lampard

09:52 SAST 2019/07/07
Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea Brighton Premier League 2019
The Blues’ new boss has insisted the England international forward is an integral part of his plans for the future

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has admitted he is desperate to hold onto Callum Hudson-Odoi and make him central to the club's plans next season.

The England winger handed in a transfer request last January  amid interest from German champions Bayern Munich, but Lampard is hoping that Hudson-Odoi has changed his mind about leaving Stamford Bridge in the near future.

Goal understands the 18-year-old is set to pen a new £100,000-per-week long-term deal with Chelsea , now that Maurizio Sarri has left the club to join Juventus .

Under the Italian’s watch, Hudson-Odoi started just four league matches last season, which only fuelled his desire to leave the Blues during the campaign.

However, Sarri’s replacement has indicated the attacker has a much bigger role to play in the 2019-20 campaign.

“He [Hudson-Odoi] is going to be central for us on the pitch and that is the opportunity that is really in front of him now,” Lampard told reporters. “So that’s what I will speak to him about and I hope he stays.

“I am not going say things that are pie in the sky. I am not going to say: ‘This is all going to be your way’. But knowing his talent he can be central to this team, he can be central to an England team.

“I am going to say I want to work with him, I want to drive him forward. I want to improve him as a player and he can show right here at Chelsea, the club he came through the academy at, that he is going to be an absolute world-class player – because I truly believe that.”

Asked about Hudson-Odoi’s rumoured near switch to Bayern in January, Lampard claimed he was unsure exactly what transpired between the player and club.

“I don’t know what the position was too much last year,” said the new Chelsea boss. “What I do know that before Callum got injured you could certainly see when he got opportunities he was playing well. He was showing the player that he is.”

Despite Lampard’s positive words regarding Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea supporters will have to wait to see the youngster next in action for the Blues.

The winger ruptured his Achilles tendon against Burnley in April and will consequently miss the start of the upcoming campaign.