Premier League

Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi arrested for suspicion of rape

Chelsea and England forward Callum Hudson-Odoi has been released on police bail after being placed under arrest on suspicion of rape.

The 19-year-old was arrested in the early of Sunday morning after police and an ambulance were called to an address in London.

After being seen to by the emergency services, a woman reported that she had been raped and was taken to a local hospital. Hudson-Odoi was arrested there and then at the scene, but he has since been released.

Hudson-Odoi, who made the headlines earlier this year after being the first Premier League to test positive for Covid-19, is believed to have broken the lockdown rules on Sunday with the woman reported to have visited his home from another property.

If he is charged with rape, then flouting any lockdown rules will be the least of his problems. If he cannot clear his name, then his career as a professional footballer could be over before it has really begun.

Hudson-Odoi burst on to the scene in 2017 with a handful of performances for the Chelsea first-team, before impressing then manager Maurizio Sarri ahead of the 2018-19 campaign. In April 2019, Hudson-Odoi was handed his first start for the club and became the youngest player to ever assist a Premier League goal on his first set as he set up Olivier Giroud.

Hudson-Odi is thought of very highly at Stamford Bridge, and they rejected bids of £22.5 million and £35 million from Bundesliga side Bayern Munich. Hudson-Odoi repaid the faith shown in him by the club by signing a new five-year contract in September 2019 and admitted he was convinced to remain at Chelsea after a lengthy conversation with manager Frank Lampard.

Hudson-Odoi, who is eligible to represent England and Ghana, has worked his way up through the age groups with England. He played from Under 16 up to Under 19 and was called up to the Under 21 squad in March 2019. Days after receiving that call-up, he was drafted into the full England squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro.

His came on in the 70th minute against the Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium in a 5-0 win. His appearance at 18 years and 135 days saw him become the youngest player to make his competitive debut for England – he beat the previous record set by Duncan Edwards in 1955 by 40 days.

England manager Gareth Southgate started Hudson-Odoi three days later against Montenegro and he had a hand in one of the goals scored by Chelsea team-mate Ross Barkley.

Despite having played for the full senior squad, Hudson-Odoi was again selected for the Under 21 squad and made his debut for Aidy Boothroyd’s team in a 2-2 draw against Slovenia in October 2019 in Maribor.

This allegation of rape is a massive blow to Hudson-Odoi’s career and only time will tell if any charges are brought to the midfielder and what affect it will have on his career going forward.

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