| 10.6°C Belfast

Maiden England call-up really is a dream come true, says thrilled Hudson-Odoi


New boy: Callum Hudson-Odoi has been called up by Englandpromoted

New boy: Callum Hudson-Odoi has been called up by Englandpromoted


New boy: Callum Hudson-Odoi has been called up by Englandpromoted

Highly-rated Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi has been handed his first England call-up.

Part of the side that won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, the 18-year-old has been subject of sustained interest from Bayern Munich having made his first-team breakthrough at Stamford Bridge this season.

Hudson-Odoi has yet to start a Premier League match for Chelsea but Gareth Southgate has promoted the talented winger to the senior squad after Manchester United's Luke Shaw became the fourth player to withdraw through injury.

It has been a whirlwind day for the teenager, who had been in Bristol preparing for his first taste of international Under-21 football with Aidy Boothroyd's side when the call came.

Hudson-Odoi had barely finished his lunch with the Young Lions before heading up to St George's Park to join the senior team for the Euro 2020 double-header against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

"It's been a crazy day but getting my first (senior) international call-up is an amazing feeling," the 18-year-old said. "Today has been a very long day for me because I had to travel to Bristol first for the U21s and then got told that I had to come to St George's Park.

"It's been a crazy experience but I'm delighted to get the call and it's a nice feeling to be here.

"I thought the manager was joking. I was shocked and then when I heard that I actually had to go over, I couldn't believe it.

"It's a dream come true. Now I've got to work hard, enjoy every moment and keep working to just hopefully make an impact when I get the opportunity.

"Everybody here is very humble and very nice. They make sure you're comfortable, no one has an ego here so hopefully I get to know more of the boys here."

Hudson-Odoi is the second new addition after in-form Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse linked up with the Three Lions earlier in the day.

There was some surprise about his omission from the 25-man squad named last week and Southgate had no hesitation in turning to his former Under-21 captain after Fabian Delph, John Stones and Ruben Loftus-Cheek pulled out of the squad.

Delph was replaced during Manchester City's FA Cup quarter-final win at Swansea, which team-mate Stones missed with a groin injury. Loftus-Cheek came on as a second-half substitute as Chelsea lost to Everton on Sunday and has now been replaced by Ward-Prowse.

Ward-Prowse has scored six goals since the turn of the year, including stunning free-kicks in Southampton's last two matches, and was in such form that Southgate was quizzed about why he had overlooked him last week.

"We love Prowsey," the Three Lions boss said. "I've been accused of being a father of Prowsey over the years!

"This most recent spell is his best spell since we capped him before. He is, I would say, a world-class deliverer of set-plays.

"But he's only got back into the team at Southampton. We've got some (good) players and it isn't a straightforward selection."

Belfast Telegraph