It was 3 and a half years ago that Callum Hudson-Odoi was subject of a huge bid from Bayern Munich.
CHO was one of the hottest properties in Europe and, following Munich’s very public pursuit, he handed in a transfer request.
Munich returned in the summer of 2019 with more bids but eventually CHO signed a new mamouth contract reportedly in excess of £100k a week.
The figures being floated about were huge considering that in the summer of 2019, CHO was 18-years-old and had started just 4 Premier League games.
Despite the next season Chelsea having a transfer embargo, CHO failed to make the impact that either Reece James or Mason Mount did – just 7 Premier League starts and 852 minutes played.
Since then his career has stuttered.
Thomas Tuchel clearly does not fancy him, having tried and failed to convert him into a right wing back. Whilst a run of injuries have also affected his progress.
Still just 21-years-old, Arsenal have recently been linked with move for him. Is it one that we should make?
I have two concerns about us recruiting CHO.
The first is the nature of the deal – Chelsea seem to prefer a loan deal.
Whilst cover and competition for Bukayo Saka is something we need to get in before the end of the season, a loan for CHO would merely be short term cover.
He fails to live up to his early hype, we have a player that is not good enough. He does fulfil that potential then all we have succeeded in doing is being a finishing school for Chelsea players.
Secondly, those injuries – and specifically the Achilles problems – are a cause of concern.
He reptured his Achilles back in 2019 which kept him on the sidelines for 6 months. Then back end of last season more problems arose which led him to miss another 14 games.
Have those problems robbed him of his explosive pace? Is he still the same player as he was those years ago?
Or will he end up another Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? A clearly talented player that will forever be returning from his latest injury.
I would not want a loan deal, and I would not want us to be tying up big money in a player with such a poor injury record.
We have worked hard to get rid of a lot of players in recent transfer windows. To then give a 5-year deal to someone with such a questionable record would be poor management.
For me, Callum Hudson-Odoi should be someone we should avoid.
The second player we have been linked with this summer is Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
Caicedo was signed by the South-coast team 18 months ago. He spent the last season on loan in Belgium.
Just 20-years-old, the Ecuadorian is rated highly – he already has 23 caps for his country.
Brighton clearly see Caicedo as a big part of the forthcoming season following the sale of Yves Bissouma this summer. He has started both Premier League games this season.
A very tidy, all action central midfielder, he would be a brilliant long-term replacement for Thomas Partey. but there are plenty of obstacles.
The first is Brighton.
Will they let Caicedo go having already sold Bissouma? And we have seen with Ben white and Marc Cucurella that they are happy holding out for top dollar for players.
And Arsenal are probably not in a position to risk paying dop dollar on such a raw diamond.
We are in no rush to replace Partey, who is just 29. And if we did replace him tomorrow it would be with someone who is already at the top of their game, not a youngster with heaps of potentialy.
With Mohamed Elneny agreeing a one year extension, it does kick the can down the road in terms of buying cover (and a future replacement) for Partey.
Could Arsenal potentailly get Caicedo a bit cheaper if we agreed to leave him on loan at Brighton for the rest of the season – not too disimilar to the original William Saliba deal.
We will then be securing one of the brightest young midfielders in world football, whilst Brighton would be able to keep hold of the youngster for another season.
Then in a years time Caicedo would join up with Arsenal to play second fiddle to Partey.
If we are then looking at his development path, after a year with Brighton and a year as cover, he would then be 22 (soon to be 23) and ready to play week in week out for a top club.
By the time summer 2024 comes around, Partey will be 31-years-old and with a year left on his contract. We would then increase Caicedo’s playing time whilst reducing Partey’s. We would also not worry about the Ghanian’s contract expiring in 2025 as his replacement will already be with the club.
A slight concern is that he has also been linked to Manchester United this week – that makes me think his agents are making noise to try and manufacture a move for him.
Do not be surprised to see Arsenal splash some cash on Caicedo this summer, but him not join until next.
It looks like Pepe’s nightmare time with Arsenal could be coming to a close – on a temporary basis at least.
His agent was pictured in Nice at the weekend – who recently signed Kasper Schmeichel – and he is apparently open to a move back to France.
A loan deal seems most likely at the moment – and Arsenal will be hoping that if he puts in some good performances we might get a decent transfer fee for him next summer (despite having just a year left on his contract).
Whatever happens, I wish Pepe well.
His big career move has not worked out for a variety of reasons, but he has never complained or caused issues.
At the time of writing we were still waiting for the results of Charlie Patino’s scan following his ankle issue on Tuesday.
It was a bit of a horror one as he lost his footing and his angle ended up at an angle it should not have.
He played on following the issue and the only hope is that this was due to it not being bar rather than negligence.
If he was allowed to play on by Blackpool despite suffering a bad injury, questions need to be asked.
Hopefully he is back playing soon as he could be a big player for us,
Enjoy your Thursday.