When Callum Hudson-Odoi tore his Achilles last month and had his season ended prematurely, Chelsea supporters were devastated.
The mercurial teenage winger had caught the eye in the past few months, breaking into the first team and lighting up the pitch with his skills, pace and technique.
Off the pitch as well, Hudson-Odoi has shone, as illustrated by his honest and revealing personal essay in The Players’ Tribune.
Released on Monday, the 18-year-old delves into his whirlwind journey to the upper levels of English football, taking fans through the highs and lows of his career to date.
His desire to make it back onto the pitch and recover from his injury is an encouraging sign for Chelsea supporters, illustrating the attitude of a dedicated professional.
“Right now, I’m absolutely gutted. You might’ve heard already, but I ruptured my Achilles the other week at the Bridge. Ended my season early. Devastating,” Hudson-Odoi wrote.
“Don’t worry, though! I will be back, stronger than ever. I promise you. The return is coming!”
The passion and desire to come back from a debilitating setback is heartening to see, especially from a player so young.
For many rising stars, a significant injury at a crucial point in their nascent careers can be a hammer blow. However, luckily for Hudson-Odoi, he possesses the mental strength and a fighting mentality that will serve him well in professional football.
The essay also discusses his progression to becoming an England international, his upbringing playing football in the cages of south London and his personal experiences of racism in the game.
Hudson-Odoi’s personal story is memorable and one that all Chelsea fans must read to better understand what it is that makes one of their brightest prospects tick.