CHELSEA TRANSFER NEWS: Gabriele Marcotti says Chelsea are aiming to extend two of the contracts of their three star wingers.
The Blues have just signed Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £57.5m, while youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi is being tipped for an exit with Bayern Munich offering £35m for his services.
But what of established trio Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro?
Italian sports journalist Marcotti explained on The Game podcast:
“[One] thing to say about Hudson-Odoi is, and this is in the context of the Pulisic thing, is that Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro are all out of contract in 2020.
“Chelsea I think will extend two of those deals, they would like to extend two of those three deals.
“Obviously Eden Hazard is the one they’d like to extend the most, I would assume, but they’re not going to extend all three.
“So all of a sudden, if you have two of those three guys, plus Pulisic, plus Hudson-Odoi, plus a centre-forward – that’s kind of what you need to be equipped in a Premier League season.”
Hudson-Odoi is still on the fringes of the Blues squad, so eyebrows have been raised by Bayern’s willingness to pay big money for the winger.
But Marcotti thinks there is no need for the 18-year-old to be playing regularly just yet.
He explained: “When Chelsea go and loan players out like [Tammy] Abraham, people get angry because they have so many players on loan.
“What gets me about this guy (Hudson-Odoi), it’s amazing if Bayern have offered all that money.
“This is a guy who has started no Premier League games, in fact he has 71 mins of Premier League football under his belt, he only turned 18 years old in November.
“People have this idea that ‘players need to play to develop, yeah, let’s chuck them in the first team, in the pathway!’
“But unless we’re talking about Wayne Rooney and [Marcus] Rashford, there really aren’t that many tremendous players who are regulars and are playing a lot of football two years before they turn 20.
“There really aren’t, certainly not at top clubs. Go back and see how many games Steven Gerrard played when he was 18 years old, right?”
Joining Marcotti on the podcast was Times journalist Matt Dickinson, and he continued: “I agree, [Hudson-Odoi has] still got plenty of time.
“But you look at somebody like [Dominic] Solanke on the move [from Liverpool to Bournemouth], he’s now 21.
“We’re not talking about an 18-year-old there, we’re talking about somebody who is a couple of years older and needs, certainly, to be playing regular football and hasn’t been for a while.
“The phenomenon exists undoubtedly that there are players who are not getting the games they need and making moves that aren’t getting them the games.”