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Chelsea youngsters Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James featured for the development squad last weekend as the young Blues defeated Brighton 2-1.
The duo have been out for months due to injury and missed Chelsea’s entire pre-season and will now use the U23 squad to boost back their match fitness.
Chelsea are set to play another U23 match this weekend as the youngsters will travel to Southampton today in their Premier League 2 quest. Hudson-Odoi and Reece James will take part in this fixture which will render them unavailable for Sunday’s clash against Liverpool, as the duo regain fitness ahead of much-anticipated return to the first-team football.
Hudson-Odoi on Thursday committed his future to Chelsea by signing a new five-year contract.
The 18-year-old’s contract is worth £150,000 weekly but could end up totalling £180k with performance-related add-ons.
Hudson-Odoi handed the club a transfer request in the January transfer window, but he has now revealed the role new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard played in him signing the new contract.
Hudson-Odoi said in an interview with the official Chelsea website: “I’ve been thinking for a while what it would be like to be playing for Chelsea for the next five years and how everything might go, especially now Frank is here as the manager.
“It’s a great feeling for all of us because we know he gives everybody a chance if you’re playing well and working hard.
“He’s a very good manager. I can tell that by what he’s trying to do and the things he’s trying to implement into our football. He has the mentality of winning, which we all want and we all need, so him coming in was just an extra boost for me.
“He’s already given me confidence, having a chat with me here and there, and it’s great when a manager has faith in you. I’m delighted he’s here and I’m looking forward to working more with him.”