It has been confirmed by both Chelsea FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen that winger Callum Hudson-Odoi will spend the remainder of the 2022/23 on loan with Die Werkself, with minutes hard to come by at Stamford Bridge. Hudson-Odoi had been competing for minutes with the likes of Rahemm Sterling, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, and even Timo Werner (before Werner's return to RB Leipzig in the transfer window). There is no buy-back clause in this loan deal and Hudson-Odoi will return to Chelsea following the conclusion of this season.
Callum Hudson-Odoi will spend the rest of the 2022/23 season on loan in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen. ⤵️— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 30, 2022
Hudson-Odoi was heavily linked with Bayern Munich at various spells over a long period of time, and he has been touted to be one of England's next big young talents. Just a few seasons ago, a potential deal fell apart when Bayern and Chelsea failed to get close enough on their valuation of the player — Chelsea always wanted more than Bayern was prepared to offer. Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić had been adamant on signing the player, having cultivated a solid working relationship with Chelsea’s front office that also yielded Jamal Musiala's signing for Bayern. But Chelsea were fearful of letting Hudson-Odoi go for too little.
At the time, Bayern was in need of attacking reinforcements, but hindsight is always 20/20. Fast forward to now, and coach Julian Nagelsmann has a luxury of incredible depth, not only in attack, but in defense and midfield as well. Interestingly enough, managerial changes also played a role in Hudson-Odoi’s prospects.
At one point, former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard started to give the player more minutes towards the end of the 2019/20 season, but that changed when Thomas Tuchel took charge. By the same token, Hansi Flick was managing Bayern at the time, and while he was known to have differing transfer targets than Brazzo, he wanted to bring Hudson-Odoi to Bayern. By all accounts, Nagelsmann was never as keen as Brazzo or Hansi Flick were to sign him, and his failure to make a bigger mark at Chelsea in the meantime likely didn't help matters.
Now, Bayern will get to see how he works out at Leverkusen, in the Bundesliga as well as in the Champions League. Leverkusen's weekend win over Mainz 05 finally turned around what had been a disappointing start to the season — which began with three straight losses, to Borussia Dortmund, FC Augsburg, and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. They were also knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in the first round by SV Elversberg.
The pressure will be on Hudson-Odoi to help turn the ship around there — and fast.