Few men at Chelsea are more popular to this day than Joe Cole. The Englishman, who signed for the Blues back in 2003, went on to have a pretty successful period with the Blues, and he was always a very likeable and positive figure at Stamford Bridge.
He’s now returned to the club, too, working behind the scenes as a Technical Academy Coach.
On the side, he’s still continuing to work in punditry, and he was in the BT Sport studio when Chelsea took on Malmo on Thursday evening in the Europa League. Naturally, he was there to use his knowledge of the Blues to add some insight into the tie, but he also took some time to discuss young Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Hudson-Odoi didn’t start the game, which came as a shock to many, and after he was linked with a move to Bayern Munich in January, his lack of recent minutes has naturally raised the concern of a summer departure.
However, in comments that are only going to make Cole more popular with Chelsea fans, the Englishman has made it perfectly clear as to where he thinks Hudson-Odoi should spend his future.
Joe Cole on Hudson-Odoi to BT Sport: "He’s a fantastic talent. As long as he’s getting minutes – and he is – look at the players to learn from [at Chelsea]. I think he’s in the right place." #cfc
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) February 14, 2019
Speaking on BT Sport, via ESPN’s Liam Twomney on Twitter, Cole said: “He’s a fantastic talent. As long as he’s getting minutes – and he is – look at the players to learn from [at Chelsea]. I think he’s in the right place.”
This makes a change, as Germany has been conceived as the perfect place for young players to develop, and it’s fair to say that Hudson-Odoi certainly should be getting more minutes than he currently is.
However, Cole – speaking as someone who has been in and around Chelsea for years – clearly thinks that remaining at the club is the best course of action. He evidently believes in the message, and given his current role at the club, you’d be inclined to believe him.
Is he speaking with blue-tinted goggles? Perhaps, but Cole is clearly passionate about Chelsea and the progress of the club, and when someone of his calibre says something so interesting, you can’t help but take notice. It just makes you wonder whether Hudson-Odoi will pay any attention.