Rio Ferdinand fears that Callum Hudson-Odoi has one more roll of the dice this season to salvage his once-promising Chelsea career.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ferdinand insisted Hudson-Odoi needed a stellar campaign in order to remain a Blue for another term.
The 20-year-old has been sniffing around a spot in the first-team set-up ever since Thomas Tuchel stepped foot in Stamford Bridge but he has not really been able to nail down a spot of his own.
He was reportedly set for alternative routes for more playing times as he was linked to Borussia Dortmund and Leicester City but the Blues blocked their academy product’s exit plan.
Tuchel still sees him as a valued member of the squad, hence handing him a rare start in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend.
But failure to turn that one outing into three, four or five on the trot, Ferdinand worried this could be curtains for the Cobham pupil in South West London.
“Hudson-Odoi has been promising and threatening for a couple of seasons now,” said the former Manchester United defender.
“This has got to be his breakthrough season where he really cements his place in that team if he has a chance of staying there and being a real Chelsea player for many years to come because he’s got undoubted talent.
“He hasn’t really transferred the talent he showed as a kid, in the youth teams or the teams coming up.
“There was a real buzz around him. He hasn’t transferred that consistently yet into this Chelsea team.”
The failure to replicate those abilities shown at a younger level hasn’t always been his fault largely due to an Achilles injury that struck him down just as he was finding some good form under Maurizio Sarri.
He has been playing catch-up from that moment although the task of earning Tuchel’s trust is a tall one.
Hopefully, Hudson-Odoi becomes a Chelsea regular soon rather than later or never.