Soccer News Sat, 17 Feb 2018
English-born of Ghanaian descent Callum Hudson-Odoi has been named as the Premier League 2 Player of the Month for January following his scintillating form for Chelsea FC.It might, at first glance, be a little surprising Callum Hudson-Odoi has today been named the Premier League 2 Player of the Month for January, as he played just one match in the PL2 competition during that first month of this year.
Mind you, it was quite a performance in the away game at Sunderland. The 17-year-old scored three of the goals in a 5-0 triumph.
His winning of the award however becomes much clearer if you know that as well as taking nominations from the opposing PL2 managers, it also factors in other competitions including the Checkatrade Trophy and first-team appearances.
With all those considered, it has been quite a start to 2018 for Hudson-Odoi, and one that may continue tonight at Stamford Bridge with Antonio Conte indicating yesterday the player is part of the squad for the FA Cup tie against Hull City.
"It was a crazy month," Hudson-Odoi agrees, talking to the official Chelsea website shortly after collecting his January honour.
"The PL2 game at Sunderland, scoring a hat-trick, that boosted it for me and when I got told I was coming into the senior squad to be on the bench against Newcastle [in the previous round of the FA Cup], I was delighted."
‘Then coming on in that game, that was an amazing feeling as that was my debut, but a couple of days after against Bournemouth, to make my Premier League debut as well was crazy! So it was the best month of my life so far."
It was around November, after he had returned from India where he helped England win the World Cup for his age group, that Hudson-Odoi started training regularly with our first-team squad, and he quickly felt the benefits.
"The first team players are more experienced and you learn from them,’ he says. ‘Idols such as Eden Hazard and Willian, you look up to them and you want to emulate the way they play and be where they are. And the defenders, they are experienced at playing against world-class players so it is much more difficult to get past them, but that is better for me because it develops me and makes me feel I need another way to get through the defence. That has gradually boosted me as a player as well."
"The players always encourage you no matter what. They always try to boost your confidence and if you make a mistake, they say “Come on Odoi, you can do this better” or “Come on Callum, you can work on this”. It is never bad criticism, it is always constructive to help you."