22 Year Old Starlet Discusses His Painful Chelsea Departure And Guidance From Steve Cooper.

Callum Hudson-Odoi opens up on emotional Chelsea exit and Steve Cooper advice
Callum Hudson-Odoi says his summer departure from Chelsea was emotional, but more his decision than the clubs, as he relishes linking up with Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest.

The winger came through the youth ranks and into the first team at Stamford Bridge but his progress at the club stalled and he spent last season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen.

The 22-year-old did not enjoy great success in Germany and was made available for transfer when he returned to west London.


While he clearly did not have a future in the Blues first team, he still says it was a tough choice to leave his boyhood club, but a decision he felt he had to make, especially when Nottingham Forest were interested.


Forest boss Steve Cooper was manager of England Under-17s when they won the World Cup in 2017, with Hudson-Odoi a key player in that team. The chance to link up with his former boss again looked to be the perfect opportunity.

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‘Chelsea has been my home for a very long time and knowing it was time to go was emotional,’ Huson-Odoi told The Telegraph. ‘It was difficult, we had conversations but I thought it was best if I leave. It was a mutual agreement, but I’d say it was more my decision.


‘Forest is the right place for me to excel in my football, and do more than I probably could at Chelsea. I want to be playing as much as possible.

There were a lot of different places I could have ended up at, but once Coops made the call my head was straight here. He definitely brought the best out of me with England. The big thing about him is how he understands players, on and off the pitch. He’s always making sure that you’re mentally right and comfortable, and free in what you do.’


Hudson-Odoi revealed the piece of advice Cooper gave him when he called him up, the same tip he dished out when they worked together at England.

‘”Don’t be boring!” He’s been saying it to me for as long as I can remember,’ said Hudson-Odoi. ‘”Take risks, don’t let anything hold you back and be yourself. Create problems every time you’re on the ball.”


‘You want to have that freedom to do your stuff, whether it’s scoring or creating goals for the team. That’s what I want, to excite the crowd.’

Cooper said of his summer signing: ‘I’ve got to say he has come in and he really has looked bright.

‘I only have positive memories of Callum, but it’s been six years since the World Cup. He was a boy then and he’s turned into a young man and lots of things have changed in his life.


‘What hasn’t changed is the love for football and the love for doing well. Not just him, we’ve got lots of young players who need exactly the same support to make them feel like they can be at their best – but it’s not easy to do that. I just want to put them in an environment where they feel like they can be themselves.’

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