Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi will continue to compete for a spot in the England squad, despite reports suggesting the teenager wants to switch his international allegiance to Ghana.
The 20-year-old has not represented England since November 2019, having struggled for regular minutes at club level under both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel.
The competition for minutes had been suggested as a problem for Hudson-Odoi, who was tipped to switch his allegiance to Ghana a few weeks ago, and that speculation increased recently with rumours that the winger was so disgusted with the racist abuse directed at Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho after the Euro 2020 final that he was prepared to cut ties with the Three Lions.
Well, according to The Athletic’s Simon Johnson, it’s all rubbish.
It’s said that there is ‘no substance’ to the rumours Hudson-Odoi could switch to Ghana, but that’s not strictly true as the president of the Ghanaian FA recently suggested he was keen to convince the winger to switch sides.
“I spoke with Callum before he got to Ghana, and we promised to speak again when we meet in Ghana, we have met, we’ve had discussions that centred beyond playing for Ghana, and he has a crazy ambition of helping kids in Ghana and this is what excites me the most,” Kurt Okraku told TV3 last month.
“We are looking forward to working with Odoi and his family and many other players who are interested in representing their country. We have a lot of them like that, we are talking to the technical team and the political authorities in getting them to play for Ghana.”
Hudson-Odoi himself has even stoked the fire, refusing to rule out a switch when speaking to local reporters in Ghana.
“I think obviously when you’re young, you have the opportunity to play for England throughout all the years, from under 15 to under 16 all the way up,” he said (via Joy Online). “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.
“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 never know.”
FIFA rules means players are still able to switch nations even if they have already represented one country, but only if the player in question has fewer than three caps and all were earned before they turned 21, as is the case with Hudson-Odoi.