England manager Gareth Southgate is reportedly reluctant to call up Callum Hudson-Odoi just to ensure he doesn’t switch his allegiance to Ghana next year.
Hudson-Odoi has made three appearances for England’s senior team, with the last coming in 2019.
Just as he has found it hard to break into the Chelsea team, he has also found it difficult to get a place in the England squad due to the high level of competition.
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His international future is now in the balance as the Daily Telegraph report that Hudson-Odoi would be eligible to switch his international allegiance to Ghana from November 2022 in time for the World Cup in Qatar.
Under FIFA rules, a player can make up to three competitive appearances and still switch allegiance, as long as the appearances were made under the age of 21 and were not at the 'final stage' of a tournament.
Therefore if Hudson-Odoi plays for England again he would not be able to switch to Ghana, who he qualifies to play for through his father.
The Telegraph say Southgate has spoken to Hudson-Odoi about his international ambition, but he will not let the situation impact his future squad decisions.
Speaking last week, Southgate said: “I'm trying to respect a squad that got us to a final [of Euro 2020], not make too many changes to that, and make sure young players really have to earn their right to come in.”
Hudson-Odoi reportedly turned down an England Under-21 call-up in August as he sees himself as a senior player. He was not called up by the U21s for games this month.
The 20-year-old has not been a regular under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea and hinted in June that a switch to Ghana could happen.
“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,” Hudson-Odoi said, as reported by Joy Sports.
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“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'll never know.”
Tuchel seemed to question Hudson-Odoi’s decision not to play for the U21s earlier in the summer.
“It’s his personal decision and nothing to do with my opinion or the club’s,” said the Chelsea boss. “If I speculate a little bit, I think it’s about disappointment that he is not nominated for the first team, but at the same time maybe did not have enough minutes to be nominated for the first team.
“Personally, I could see the upgrade in having some minutes and being in a leading role for the Under-21s, but he decided differently so he will deal with the consequences.”
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