Callum Hudson-Odoi credited Frank Lampard with creating a “more positive vibe” around Stamford Bridge and said he cannot wait to return to action after signing a new five-year contract at Chelsea.
The 18-year-old winger ended months of speculation over his future by agreeing fresh terms, the academy product having drawn interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Hudson-Odoi looked like he was on his way out of London towards the end of a turbulent 2018-19 season for Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri, but he said Lampard’s arrival in July marked the start of a turnaround in the atmosphere around the club.
“He [Lampard] has come in and given a lot of players a chance,” the England international told the Evening Standard.
“Even in training he is giving a lot of youth team players the chance to train with us. It is good for me because it is encouraging: you see players that you have watched or played with throughout the whole time and they are getting opportunities to play and you have that same hunger and desire, you want to play as well.
“It gives me the confidence and boost [that] if I am doing well, working hard in training I will get the opportunity to play as well.”
5 more years!!! pic.twitter.com/PUb8FQap6p
— Callum Hudson-Odoi (@Calteck10) September 19, 2019
After making waves with a string of impressive performances for the first team, Hudson-Odoi ruptured his Achilles tendon in April and has since undergone surgery to correct the issue.
While the Blues’ clash with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday is likely to come too soon for him, the teenager is not far away from knocking on the door of Lampard’s starting line-up.
He said: “For me it is warming, knowing that the manager and the staff around, plus the fans, everybody wants you to come back and for me I just can’t wait to be back now, start playing and hopefully just show what I can do.
“The only thing [that has changed] is that we’ve got a more positive vibe in the changing room and on the pitch.
“We are all happy I think because the manager has come in, he used to be a great player himself at the club, and now he has come in and we all give respect to what he has done for the club before.
“I think the camp now is just more happy, more positive.”
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