Why Callum Hudson-Odoi is better than Willian, Pedro
Background photo: Vespa, CC-BY-SA 3.0
You may find this headline outrageous if you’re on the other side of the divide. Disrespectful even. But it is what it is. Callum Hudson-Odoi has proved himself better than Willian and Pedro, individually. You’ll be treated to the stats later in this piece. The bottom line is, the old guard must make way for this budding exuberant dribbler.
Who is Callum Hudson-Odoi?
The young man needs no introduction. The question may sound better thus: who the heck is this youngster compared to World Cup and Champions League winner Pedro? Or the seasoned international and two-time Premier League Champion Willian?
It’s worth stating that Hudson-Odoi is an 18-year-old who only recently cut his teeth in professional football. Actually, the Englishman can rightly be adjudged a work in progress.
But Hudson-Odoi is the most productive youngster of his generation. Due respect to Vinicius Junior.
Odoi was seven when he joined Chelsea in 2007. A decade later he was attracting the limelight. He now lives in it; while playing in the best League in the world.
Maurizio Sarri has done well to give Hudson-Odoi a chance in the Chelsea first team. However, the winger’s precocious talent has forced the Italian gaffer’s hand.
Bayern Munich made no secret of their intention to poach Hudson-Odoi from the Blues. In fact, it was rumoured the player had handed Chelsea a transfer request. Apparently, the Blues feared a similar situation like Paul Pogba and Manchester United. Sarri had to give the buzzing attacker more minutes than his peers. Odoi still deserves more.
How Odoi edges Willian and Pedro
Both Willian and Pedro are brilliant players in their own right. And Chelsea depends heavily on the pair. Perhaps too heavily.
A look at their stats for the season doesn’t inspire much confidence. None of Willian or Pedro has reached double figures in goals or assists for the campaign.
Willian’s three League goals and Pedro’s eight is appalling for the 3168 League minutes they’ve combined to play. In terms of assists, they’ve both mustered a meagre six.
Willian is famed for being a good dribbler. But the Brazilian is nowhere the league’s best dribblers as the stats suggest. He’s managed a paltry 54 dribbles this term – 22 other players have done better. Pedro is further down that list with 46. Even N’Golo Kante has done better.
Hudson-Odoi is yet to start a Premier League game this season. He’s managed a pitiable five substitute appearances for Sarri’s men. It largely explains why the Londoner hasn’t mustered a goal or assist in the League.
But look him up where he’s been handed more playing time. Before Chelsea was bundled out of the FA Cup, he scored once and assisted twice in two starts.
Odoi has played eight Europa League games and has repaid his club with four goals and two assists. Well taken goals too.
Now let’s juxtapose Willian, Pedro and Odoi to see their numbers in terms of minutes per goal ratio.
Willian has played 44 games for Chelsea this season in all competitions. He’s racked up 2412 minutes of game time with eight strikes to brandish. The former Shakhtar man scores a goal every 301 minutes.
Pedro has bettered Willian in 39 outings for Chelsea. The former Barcelona winger gets a goal every 219 minutes; that leaves a lot to be desired.
Hudson-Odoi has played 16 times for Chelsea this term but has seen a miserly 517 minutes of football. Yet, his goal ratio stands at 103 minutes per goal.
What more can the Blues ask for?
Aged 30 or over, Willian and Pedro are slowing down. Meanwhile, Callum Hudson-Odoi is just getting warmed up. Who would you rather pick to pair the overwhelmed Eden Hazard on the wings?