This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past, and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.
Just a few days ago, Callum Hudson-Odoi came out in the press to say that he made the right call in not joining Bayern Munich from Chelsea. The 18-year-old winger is just off the back of signing a new five-year contract with the club worth over £120,000-per-week, all less than a year after he handed in a transfer request to try and force a move to Germany.
At the time of Bayern’s interest in January, Hudson-Odoi had still not started a game for his boyhood club (per the Guardian), and even to this date, he has only played 14 league games, with five starts (Soccerbase).
Bayern made it extremely clear that they wanted the winger, with former Blues boss Maurizio Sarri even saying it’s not “professional” to talk about a Chelsea player while he was under contract.
Considering Chelsea’s refusal to chuck Hudson-Odoi right in the mix, there was no real surprise to see him want to join a European giant in Bayern Munich when they were offering £35m for him and he can see his England teammate Jadon Sancho thriving at Borussia Dortmund.
In fact, at the time there were plenty of pundits saying that he should leave the club, such as Rio Ferdinand back on March 9.
He said (The Mirror): “Chelsea is a big club. He’s at home in London. He is a fantastic young English talent in the little snippets we have seen of him.
“I don’t know how he doesn’t get more game time.
“If I was him, and I am not getting game time, and seeing Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson flying in Germany, other young players who are getting game time in teams who I would consider myself better than, I’d be gone.
“I would be saying, ‘I am going’.
“I’d want to feel that I have a real chance of getting in the first team and opportunities.”
Even though Hudson-Odoi began to feature even more towards the end of last season, it would be down to a few behind-the-scenes circumstances that really secured his fate. Indeed, as soon as Maurizio Sarri joined Juventus and Frank Lampard returned to Chelsea, the English manager set out to convince (the Telegraph) Hudson-Odoi to stay and that he was a crucial player for them – and it worked, as the new contract suggests.
But what will Bayern miss? That question still remains to be answered in full given his relative experience. In Bavaria, the main wingers this season have been Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry – who both have international and Champions League experience – as well as Alphonso Davies, Philippe Coutinho and Thomas Muller, who are all capable of playing wide.
Hudson-Odoi is yet to fully prove his quality over the course of a season or so like many of those at Bayern have, however, you would have to say that with Davies getting only four Bundesliga appearances so far this season, then England international Hudson-Odoi may have been able to challenge Gnabry and Coman for starting positions.
However, with Hudson-Odoi signing a contract, you can certainly see why he’d stay. In Lampard, he has a manager who is going to back the youngsters – as Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have found out. The risk of having to leave Chelsea just to ensure he can play every week now seems to have evaporated, therefore, why not play your football for your boyhood club when they are challenging for Europe and in the Champions League?
For Bayern, however, it seems like January was their only real chance of landing him for the foreseeable future.
How much will Bayern regret not sealing a deal? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!