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Zola hopes teenager will remain at club

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Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola. Photo: PA

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola. Photo: PA

PA

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola. Photo: PA

Gianfranco Zola said Chelsea are doing "as much as we can do" to keep Callum Hudson-Odoi, after the teenager scored against Sheffield Wednesday in what may well be his last appearance for the club.

The winger handed in a transfer request on Saturday, with Bayern Munich hugely keen on his signature, but Zola said his attitude was "excellent" despite that. Hudson-Odoi scored the second goal in a 3-0 win, effectively overshadowing new signing Gonzalo Higuain and Willian, who scored twice.

The 18-year-old was coy on his own future when asked about it on television, merely stating "I cannot say", having earlier said on Instagram that "God's plan is always the best". Willian actually attempted to move the discussion on, but assistant manager Zola addressed the issue.

Hudson-Odoi's performance was such that the Stamford Bridge crowd sang how they want him to stay, and Zola said Maurizio Sarri's bench were doing the same.

"We want him to stay. We were singing it as well! We are playing him. We believe in what he can do to this team. Yesterday (after the transfer request), in training his attitude was excellent, he scored a fantastic goal."

Asked whether the chance was actually gone for Chelsea to show they have faith in Hudson-Odoi, Zola said: "We can do as much as we can do, he has a lot of strong players next to him.

"I am not the club, I work for the club. The decisions aren't for me."

Irish Independent