Go back over the years, and it is rare that Arsenal and Chelsea do business with one another. Often, the deals feel very heavily weighted to one side over the other. There was the infamous Ashley Cole deal, which seen Arsenal essentially ripped off for a world-class full-back while at the same time receiving the troublesome William Gallas. There was the Olivier Giroud deal, which bit the Gunners on the behind as the Frenchman ran amok against them in the UEFA Europa League final in Baku.
In short, the Blues and Reds do not do business with each other very often. Many nearly deals, such as the Demba Ba deal, fall through for a mixture of pettiness and tactical planning. This summer, though, both clubs have threatened to do business with one another. And if one recent rumour is to be believed, they could be partners again on a very impressive transfer option.
Reports suggest that while the clubs have spoken about players as varied as Conor Gallagher and Levi Colwill, it is Callum Hudson-Odoi who the Gunners want to land. The winger has been around the Blues team for several years, first making his breakthrough under Maurizio Sarri and slowly but surely getting more gametime ever since. This year, though, he is expected to be a fringe player under Thomas Tuchel and this could see the player look for both temporary or permanent options.
Given the player is a senior England international, making his debut in 2019, Hudson-Odoi will not be cheap. He is seen as the kind of direct, penetrative, fearless wide player that Arsenal need. With most of the wide options being inconsistent, young, or not good enough, the arrival of ‘CHO’ would be an exciting one for Gunners fans.
Loan interest likely to cause problems
The main issue around the deal is that Arsenal want to buy the winger permanently. Deals have been attempted with Villarreal for Jeremy Pino and with Wolverhampton Wanderers for Pedro Neto. Neither, though, have managed to come. Instead, Arsenal want to use the funds to buy Hudson-Odoi. The player, though, is believed to be more interested in a temporary deal before returning to West London in 2023.
Newcastle United and Leicester City are keen, with both teams offering attack-minded coaches with the promise of a return to Cobham next year. Arsenal would likely have to be a permanent deal, and that is less likely to appeal to the winger. If nothing else happens, it could be a more serious option, but it looks like the Gunners would have to try and negotiate a temporary loan deal if they want to be successful.
That then poses its own problems – if the winger has a fine season, they are essentially priming a Chelsea player to improve their long-term rivals. The player is believed to see Arsenal as a fine choice, but would rather try and come back to Chelsea in the 2023-23 season to see if he can break into the first XI again.
For Arsenal, this could be a fine signing – under the right conditions. Time will tell as to whether or not those conditions exist.