Ghana switch possible for reinvigorated Hudson-Odoi after England snub

Callum Hudson-Odoi has the distinction of being England’s youngest player. He dethroned Dunch Edwards in the process, a feat the Manchester United legend had kept for 40 years. 

Since that fateful March 2019 outing, he has only added two more appearances to his name. Form and injuries have played their part in his prolonged absence from the national team.

Callum Hudson-Odoi
Leverkusen, Deutschland, 01.11.22: Callum Hudson-Odoi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) lacht waehrend des Spiels der UEFA Champions League – Group B zwischen Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Club Bruegge im BayArena am 01. November 2022 in Leverkusen, Deutschland. (Foto von Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images) Leverkusen, Germany, 01.11.22: Callum Hudson-Odoi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) laughs during the UEFA Champions League – Group B match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Club Bruegge at BayArena on November 1, 2022 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images) – Photo by Icon sport

However, he has been in fine form at Bayer Leverkusen. While the current squad is suffering from injuries it was envisioned he would get a call-up to the national team. It does not seem that he enjoys Gareth Southgate’s confidence, who has preferred him to other players. 

This has opened the door for Ghana Football Association to earmark him. Born in Wandsworth, Hudson-Odoi qualifies for Ghana through his lineage. The Black Stars are trying their best to lure him to them, a feat made easy given his circumstances. 

On a recent trip to Ghana, Otto Addo and the Ghana Football Association pulled all stops to change his mind. Even the country’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, was also roped in to convince him that his future lies with the Black Stars.

With all this drama, the Chelsea youth academy graduate has remained coy about his future. He has represented England throughout the youth ranks and was part of the U21s as recently as August 2021, when he famously refused to play for England’s under-21 team against Romania and Kosovo.

Ghana in the race after Southgate snub

The Evening Standard had revealed that the 22-year-old has snubbed Ghana’s advances ahead of the World Cup. However, it seems that he has had a change of heart since. 

While not sharing a lot, the exciting wingers shared that only England is on his mind. However, he cannot ignore his Ghanain affiliations and ruling it out is not out of the question.

“When they obviously gave me the opportunity to come I was in the country already. It’s something that I already had in my mind, set on already playing for England,” Hudson-Odoi said in a conversation with Joy Sports.

“So it was the thing obviously choosing Ghana or England, and at the end of the day, I said I always had the right people around me who always advise me – what’s right, what’s wrong. England came and I said ‘Yeah, let me go and play for my country.

“But I said Ghana is my home as well, so we’ll see, we’ll see. You’ll never know.”

Since Hudson-Odoi played for England before his 21st birthday, new FIFA rules that came into force after 2020 allow him to play for Ghana. There is no three-year waiting time levied on him in these circumstances.

As it stands, the boat for Qatar 2022 has sailed for him as he was not included in their 55-man provisional squad. The necessary paperwork needed to change nationality will take more time and Otto Addo had to decide.

It can change in the future and Hudson-Odoi will be in familiar personality if he decides. Fellow Chelsea youth academy graduate, Tariq Lamptey will be plying his trade for the Black Stars at Qatar 2022. 

His decision might also help Eddie Nketiah, who decided against it at the last moment. Add Inaki Williams of Athletic Bilbao into the mix, and Ghana will soon have an exceptionally talented attacking trident at their disposal. 

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