Callum Hudson-Odoi reminds us that he is one of the best prospects in England because the winger rewards the belief of Frank Lampard
- Callum Hudson-Odoi scored the opener for Chelsea against Nottingham Forest
- The teenager was sparkling on the wing and set the second goal after a heavy patch
- He has difficulty settling in on the side of Frank Lampard and received criticism from fans
- Frank Lampard has maintained that he will keep faith with him and was rewarded
One afternoon when Chelsea turned back the years in honor of past glory, Callum Hudson-Odoi chose a suitable day to reverse the clocks.
Sunday was a year ago that the winger, then younger and even fresher, seemed when Chelsea defeated Nottingham Forest to reach the FA Cup fourth round.
Here, with Frank Lampard’s side a retro set to celebrate their first cup triumph in 1970, the 19-year-old offered a reminder why many predicted that one day he would write his own name in Chelsea folklore.
Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi was relieved when he scored his first goal since September
The teenager played an excellent performance and caused constant danger to Nottingham Forest
His first half goal saw him cut inside and neatly shoot into the bottom corner to open the score
This was 90 minutes he needed – and a day that encapsulated the wavy 12 months he experienced.
At Stamford Bridge, the winger scored one and created the other during a show of swagger and agility. There was even a collective moan after he went down with his achilles stuck.
Injuries have curtailed his progress since Hudson-Odoi stood up to become one of Europe’s best prospects.
Then he submitted a transfer request when Bayern called Munich.
The teenager remained seated, earned a call in England and a new £ 50 million contract that made him one of the richest teenagers in the world.
Hudson-Odoi has been criticized and wonders if he should go on loan this month
More recently, however, Hudson-Odoi’s progress has stalled. His performances have fallen, his star has fallen.
Lampard and Jody Morris want fans to be patient with the “kid”. But here Hudson-Odoi wasted no time raising their hopes again.
After six minutes, he explained what would become a familiar pattern, receiving the ball wide, beating poor Yuri Ribeiro and letting it fly.
The first time he asked, he shot past Jordan Smith at his nearby post and after half an hour he hit the goalkeeper.
Smith did well to parry the shot, only for Ross Barkley to tap home from close range.
Forest must be fed up with the sight of Hudson-Odoi.
But for a player whose second season was also disrupted, this was a welcome opportunity to shine.
Frank Lampard and Jody Morris insisted that they stay with the player and be reimbursed
Hudson-Odoi started only three Premier League games this season. For much of the Lampard revolution, the party is going on somewhere else.
His self-confidence never looked dubious, but frustration must have arisen when Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori drew attention.
It was symbolic that Hudson-Odoi returned to the center on a day when Lampard shook his pack and rested like Mount and Tammy Abraham.
It was also appropriate when his work was both swagger and irritated.
On every occasion the winger Ribeiro tormented and hit him from the outside and from the inside. It was the kind of public torture for which a widow lives.
The star also created the second goal, allowing the keeper to parry for Ross Barkley to enter
The winger hopes to kick up and join fellow academics graduates at a normal starting place
But even with the freedom of the right flank, Hudson-Odoi still spent much of the first half mumbling and greeted every wasted movement with swinging arms.
The second half brought a change of wing and with that a welcome break for poor Ribeiro.
The last whistle, however, was the same result as last year. And the same star artist.
Hudson-Odoi can only hope that the next 12 months will be less turbulent.