Callum Hudson-Odoi opens up on Chelsea exit in honest message amid playing style admission


Former Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi has opened up on his start at Nottingham Forest, and how moving away from his childhood club has changed his style of football over the past two seasons.

The 22-year-old made 126 appearances for the Blues over just four seasons, becoming an integral part of teams under numerous managers including Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel. However, amid injuries and managerial changes, he slowly fell down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge until he was totally shunned from the dressing room.

That shunning came in the form of a loan move out to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen where he made just 14 league appearances in an underwhelming season under Xabi Alonso. While Leverkusen would enjoy relative success having qualified for the Europa League with a sixth-place finish, Hudson-Odoi played little to no part in it, with a lone goal contribution in the Champions League to show for his efforts.

Despite a tough season, he returned to England with renewed confidence and, following a permanent move away from Chelsea in the summer transfer window, has hit the ground running for Steve Cooper's side following a goal against Burnley on his debut.

"The Chelsea situation, the loan, now Forest - all in 12 months. I've had to mature very quickly, responsibility comes with this," he admitted to Sky Sports. "Sometimes you might be down, that's normal.

"But I've learned you have to be yourself, be strong and cope with whatever comes your way. I feel like I'm starting to feel at home in Nottingham now. I know my way around the city. The roads are quiet, there's no traffic! London, it's so busy."

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The winger highlighted that his style at Chelsea isn't what the Reds currently need, and he's therefore looking for a new way of attacking defenders and getting into goal-scoring positions. "It was relief. It's my job as a winger to create and assist. But I need to score more. My mentality this year has changed completely.

"In previous years, I maybe played it safe, played nice football, and I thought this year I have to score more goals, get more assists, be more of a problem than you used to be.

"When the goal went in, it was like - phew! Shoulders down, relax, and seeing my family up there (in the stands) it was special. I think the motivation now, the confidence in the squad, is to get points in every game. It's a big ask, yes, from last year, but I think everyone's mindset is that we don't want to be in that predicament again."

It's rare for a player of such a young age to have already accomplished so much with a team he's come all the way up through, with the winger having spent 11 years in the Cobham academy before making his senior debut for the Blues under Antonio Conte.

Hudson-Odoi was also chased for multiple transfer windows by European giants Bayern Munich, who consistently offered Chelsea tens of millions for the youngster, including a loan deal with an option to buy worth £70million. Despite that, he left Chelsea for a reported fee of just £3million following his dramatic slip down the rotation order - but he stills claims it was a hard decision to make.

"It was very tough. Chelsea will always be in my heart, no matter what. They gave me the platform to start, it's where I called home, I was there for 16 years of my life.

"They gave me the opportunity to play in the first team and youth cups, they gave me everything. It was emotional knowing it was time for me to go, but there was also excitement - a new chapter, a new start.

"It was weird at times, sitting at home, thinking about it. I lived 15 minutes from the (Chelsea) training ground, and I was sitting there thinking, 'I'm going somewhere where I know no one'.

"It was a bit surreal. But now I am here at Forest, I will give everything to this club."

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