The Red Devils’ interim boss made sure to seek out Callum Hudson-Odoi during the fifth round FA Cup clash between the two giants on Monday evening
First-half goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba helped Manchester United sealed an ultimately comfortable victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side later drawn to play another Premier League opponent in the form of Wolves in the FA Cup quarterfinals. Hudson-Odoi, on the other hand, was once again left on the bench by Maurizio Sarri as the hosts suffered their ninth defeat since the Italian took charge last summer.
The 18-year-old has continued to find minutes hard to come by, playing just 19 minutes since the January transfer window closed, having attempted to force through a move to German giants Bayern Munich. Chelsea’s hierarchy are desperate for the academy graduate to sign a new contract as he will have just one year remaining on his deal this summer.
However, reports across media outlets have been saying that Hudson-Odoi is intent on progressing his career away from Stamford Bridge, and will once again seek a move away at the end of the season, with Bayern pegged to come back for another round of bidding wars. United have not been linked with a move for Hudson-Odoi, but there was an interesting moment between the Chelsea winger and Solskjaer come the final whistle on Monday evening.
Solskjaer immediately went to shake Sarri’s hand post the final whistle, and the two quickly embraced in front of the tunnel. However, instead of making a beeline towards the pitch to congratulate his players and the opponents, as is tradition, the 45-year-old moved towards Chelsea’s bench and shook hands with Hudson-Odoi before having a quick word with him. Solskjaer, who has now won 11 of his 13 games in charge at United, then walked on the Stamford Bridge pitch to praise his players.
While the exchange between manager and teen upstart must have created flutters in the stomachs of United fans, it is important to understand that a lot more seems to have been made of this gesture on Solksjaer’s part than needed. Perhaps, knowing how vital it is for teenagers to get game time as he comes from a club that prides itself on the same, the Norwegian just wanted to advice Hudson-Odoi to jeep his head down and work hard as always, not worrying too much about the future.
What what is worthy of note is that the former striker chose to do so in front of the cameras and millions of people watching worldwide, so there may have been a smidgen of ulterior motive behind the move as well, which is why fans and social media has exploded. Only time will tell what was the exact exchange!