Callum had a tumultuous lock-down period where he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic. He recovered quickly but a couple of months later followed it up with breaking the lock-down rules which ended up getting him arrested.
Finally, when the PL restart was upon us, he wasn’t fit for the first 3 matches due to injury. An already frustrating season seems to hit yet another roadblock. Since he was fit these were his playing time in the restart period:
- Did not feature against West Ham
- 19 mins against Watford
- 18 mins against Sheffield United
- 15 mins against Norwich
- 18 mins against Man United
- 37 mins against Liverpool
- 17 mins against Wolves
- 25 mins against Arsenal
A mere 149 mins played across 8 games. So the question is why? Granted Willian was in fine form during this restart period but I find it strange that Callum did not manage to start at least 1 game during this period. Even when Willian was injured in Chelsea’s last 2 matches, Mason Mount was preferred ahead of him in the RW position. Mason’s a fine player and he definitely produced the goods against Wolves but RW is not his natural position. I find it strange that a part-time RW player was preferred over a natural RW player in the likes of Callum. The matter became even further confusing when Pedro was preferred over Callum off the bench in the FA Cup final against Arsenal.
I know the stakes were high but why is Frank not trusting Callum’s ability? Frank has publicly mentioned several times that Callum has to keep training hard and take his opportunities off the bench as Pulisic did. So could it be that Frank’s not overly impressed by Callum’s training? Or perhaps he simply has not caught Frank’s eye with his opportunities off the bench?
Whatever the case is, where does this leave Callum for next season when the competition will only get tougher with Ziyech, Werner, and possibly Kai Havertz being in the team? Sure age is still on his side as he’ll only be 20 next season but surely he has to play a lot more to reach his potential that everyone believes he has. Next season, in my opinion, is a Chelsea career-defining campaign for Callum. Everything has to fall into place for him.