Callum Hudson-Odoi says he “feels fit and healthy” and is enjoying the “positive vibe” on and off the pitch under Frank Lampard at Chelsea.
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The 18-year-old has been out of action for five months after he ruptured his Achilles towards the end of last season.
The injury came at a bad time for him as he had only recently established him as a first team regular at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea host Liverpool on Sunday in a game that may have come too soon for Hudson-Odoi, but the England international is close to a return after he played an hour for the U23s last week.
“I feel good, I feel healthy and really fit,” Hudson-Odoi told Standard Sport.
“The recovery was a long time but it made me feel much stronger, it has made me mentally stronger and has built my confidence more and more.”
Hudson-Odoi looked close to leaving Chelsea for Bayern Munich in January but the belief Lampard has shown in youth at Chelsea has been a key factor in persuading him to sign a new contract.
“He [Lampard] has come in and given a lot of players a chance, even in training he is giving a lot of youth team players the chance to train with us.” Hudson-Odoi said.
“It is good for me because it is encouraging, you see players that you have watched or played with throughout the whole time and they are getting opportunities to play and you have that same hunger and desire, you want to play as well.
“It gives me the confidence and boost of if I am doing well, working hard in training I will get the opportunity to play as well.”
“For me it is warming, knowing that the manager and the staff around, plus the fans, everybody wants you to come back and for me I just can’t wait to be back now, start playing and hopefully just show what I can do.”
Hudson-Odoi was asked how life under Lampard differs to that under Maurizio Sarri.
“The only thing [that has changed] is that we’ve got a more positive vibe in the changing room and on the pitch.” Hudson-Odoi said.
“We are all happy I think because the manager has come in, he used to be a great player himself at the club, and now he has come in and we all give respect to what he has done for the club before. I think the camp now is just more happy, more positive.”