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What were you doing when you were 17? You cannot legally go to a club, make a bet, or drink alcohol, but that is not a problem for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
This youngster can instead play football at an elite level for Chelsea and England. The 17-year-old wrapped up an impressive pre-season with a sublime performance against cross-London rivals, Arsenal.
Chelsea lost 6-5 on penalties to the Gunners following a 1-1 draw in the International Champions Cup in Dublin, but it was Hudson-Odoi who stole the show.
Callum Hudson Odoi is really doing this for fun now. I am genuinely out of words to describe him. He does these skills with ease #cfc #chelsea #CFCFAMILY #CFCinDublin #CHEARS pic.twitter.com/VLtwp0KJCU- MagnificoAlvaro (@AlvaroMagnifico) August 1, 2018
His blistering pace, dazzling skills, and intricate passing drew the attention of media and fans alike, sending Chelsea fans into a sort of frenzy on Twitter.
Although new manager Maurizio Sarri is tasked with replicating the success of Antonio Conte, who won the Premier League and FA Cup in his two years as top dog, he may just have unearthed a new gem in Hudson-Odoi.
It is still early days for the Chelsea youth academy product who also impressed in pre-season games against Inter Milan and Perth Glory.
Even Arsenal right back and speed demon Héctor Bellerín was left reeling by the young forward, and that is a man who is reported to be faster than Usain Bolt over 40 metres.
Plenty on social media were impressed with his performance:
Instead of doing Jorginho's 247 passes in 73 minutes video, Hudson Odoi' s performance in terms of creating space for himself and positive first touches is a must watch for a 18 year old attacker.- Sébastien Chapuis (@SebC__) August 1, 2018
There's technical ability but also a lot of coaching behind that.
Hudson Odoi looking undroppable at the moment. Best player on the pitch. Pretty certain Sarri will give him a chance to start and shine at Wembley against City after that - well who knows? He'd be the first name on my team sheet.- Mark Worrall (@gate17marco) August 1, 2018
Hudson-Odoi the 17 year old has Bellerin breakdancing. I love this game.- َ (@HazardEdition) August 1, 2018
Strip everything away, age, reputation, anything, and it's hard to argue that Hudson-Odoi hasn't been Chelsea's best player so far in pre-season.- Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) August 1, 2018
That DOESN'T mean he's near being the finished article but, well, he's doing his bit. #step
Sarri on Hudson-Odoi: "He's a very young player. I think we have to wait but in the future he will be a very strong player, I'm sure." Pressed on whether he'll be in the first team this season, he replies: "Yes, I think he stays with us" #cfc- Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) August 1, 2018
As Chelsea switch to a 4-3-3 the teenagers' performances in pre-season may just have been enough to save him from a loan move to Vitesse and a real shot at making the first team.
Words by George Buksmann.
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