Callum Hudson-Odoi has revealed it only took one conversation with Frank Lampard to convince him to sign a new Chelsea deal and insists he is pleased with his decision to snub Bayern Munich.
The 19-year-old was heavily linked with a move to the Bundesliga giants in the summer before agreeing a new five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
The winger broke into the Blues side under Maurizio Sarri last season and did enough to earn his England senior debut only to have the campaign curtailed by a serious Achilles injury.
He missed the Europa League final and the Nations League finals as a result but has impressed since returning to fitness, earning a Three Lions recall for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo.
Things could have been different if the club had not appointed Lampard as Sarri’s successor as the former Chelsea midfielder had to do little to convince Hudson-Odoi to stay put.
Asked how many conversations he had with Lampard before agreeing to sign, he replied: “One.
“I can’t say exactly what he said but he just said he believes in me, he wants me to work hard and if I believe in myself then he believes in me and things will go well for me at this club.
He wants me to play for him. They were encouraging signs for me that you want to hear from a managerCallum Hudson-Odoi
“And he wants me to play for him. They were encouraging signs for me that you want to hear from a manager, that he believes in you and he has faith in you, that you can become a good player and achieve a lot of stuff at the club.
“I was excited. It was exciting times that a new manager was coming in and also you know that he will play at least some of the youth boys as well.
“So it’s good to know that you are going to play with some of the players from before.
“I said from the start that I made the right decision to stay at Chelsea. I’ve been there all my life. I’ve loved the club from day one.”
Lampard has overseen a sea change in approach at Chelsea as, hamstrung with a FIFA transfer ban, he has turned to the youth team and academy products.
The early results have been impressive with Hudson-Odoi joining Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham as young Blues players included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
“I’m happy to be around the boys,” added Hudson-Odoi.
“Obviously the academy boys who have come through are playing loads of games. It’s just a good bond. Great to be around each other.
I'm really happy that I stayed. I just want to keep working hard for the team and achieve something with the clubCallum Hudson-Odoi
“I’m really happy that I stayed. I just want to keep working hard for the team and achieve something with the club.
“We’ve all got a great bond coming from the academy and having that good spirit. I think all of us like being around each other.
“Sometimes we will stick with each other, we all chill with each other, play games with each other but with England you’ve got to have a bond with everybody.
“I like to get around and speak to everybody. I also go to other age groups, the Under-21s, the Under-19s – sometimes speak to the boys there as well. See how they’re doing.”
With Lampard bringing through a host of young players he could be forgiven for treating them with kid gloves.
But a list of club fines emerged on Twitter on Monday and, although not confirmed by the club, Hudson-Odoi said Lampard can be strict when necessary.
“To be fair, we have a couple of fines where it’s pretty strict and we have to stick by it,” he said.
“But even if there weren’t fines, we would still be on point. All of us are very on time with everything that we do.
“We’re very positive about everything we do. If there is a fine, we will pay it.
“For the fines, we don’t really look into it because we are always on time for what we do so it’s okay. It’s there but we’re all good about it.
“He is hard on me but it’s in a good way because he wants me to improve and keep getting better.
“When the manager is telling me stuff, I always want to listen and improve my game because I’m not there yet. I know I can always get better and keep getting better.”