‘Hudson-Odoi still has huge potential at Chelsea’ – Zola hoping Bayern Munich target stays at Stamford Bridge



The Blues icon feels an England international winger can take his game to greater heights, but admits Jorginho and Kepa Arrizabalaga may be edged out

Callum Hudson-Odoi boasts the kind of “huge potential” that Chelsea should be looking to keep on their books, says Gianfranco Zola, with the Blues urged to shun interest from Bayern Munich.

German giants Bayern are back in the hunt for the England international winger who has registered on their recruitment radar for some time.

Chelsea were able to fend off the Bundesliga champions when tying the highly-rated academy graduate to a new contract, but have since brought in more attacking talent around him.

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Added competition for places, along with the odd injury issue, means that Hudson-Odoi is no longer guaranteed a regular role at Stamford Bridge.

That has Bayern sniffing around once again, with one loan-to-buy approach knocked back, but Zola believes the Blues need to be doing all that they can to retain the services of the talented 19-year-old.

The Chelsea legend told Sky Sports: “When you are talking about a young player you are talking about how good he is and how good he can become and certainly Callum is one of those players who has huge potential.

“It will be down to him to keep working and improving, but in my opinion he has a bright future ahead of him because he has qualities not many players have.

“Now it is down to him to use those qualities in the best way. You don’t have to just work on your game, you have to work on yourself. This is the last step to becoming a big, big player.”

Hudson-Odoi is not the only player seeing a move away from west London mooted, with Italy international midfielder Jorginho sparking talk of interest from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

Zola added on the classy playmaker: “With Jorginho it depends what type of football you want to play.

“If you want to play possession where you have the ball all the time and you play a lot of passes, there are not many as good as him around. If you ask Jorginho to cover 50 metres of pitch in width and get all the balls back, it’s going to be difficult.

“Jorginho is not a player that has a lot of physicality and mobility but he is very intelligent and is always in the right place. If you have someone who can help him, he can make a big difference. It’s just about getting the best out of him.”

The same can be said for under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Zola of the opinion that the £71 million ($92m) Spaniard could still have a role to play for Chelsea if his confidence can be restored.

The Italian said: “Knowing Kepa, I am sorry for this situation because he’s a good goalie. When he came two years ago he came with a lot of potential but a big burden with the big money that was paid for him.

“Now it seems that he’s in a place where he’s not secure, he feels weak. I’m sorry because I’m 100 per cent sure this isn’t the real Kepa. He just feels the pressure now and makes a lot of mistakes, but the potential still remains. He can become a top goalkeeper.”



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