Mauricio Pochettino may hand Chelsea lifeline to 'quality' Noni Madueke deputy praised by Pele

Noni Madueke of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match with Aston Villa
Noni Madueke of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match with Aston Villa -Credit:(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

While Chelsea were battling their way back into a thrilling encounter at Villa Park, one of their loanees was out shining once again in what has been a really productive season.

Omari Hutchinson, on loan at Championship high-fliers Ipswich Town, scored two crackers in their 3-3 draw at Hull City. The first, right on the stroke of half-time, Hutchinson cut in on his favoured left foot and rifled the ball into the far top corner.

The 20-year-old doubled his tally on 67 minutes with another beauty to put Town back ahead. In similar style, Hutchinson shifted the ball onto his left foot and was allowed far too much space before finding the bottom corner at the MKM Stadium. Unfortunately for Ipswich and Hutchinson, Hull found a late equaliser on the night.

The two strikes were the Chelsea loanee's eighth and ninth Championship goals of the season. Hutchinson has bagged 10 goals in all competitions, while providing six assists along the way, as well, as he makes a real claim to be involved at Stamford Bridge next term with a highly impressive season in East Anglia.

Hutchinson, who was signed from the Arsenal academy as an 18-year-old just under two years ago, made his senior debut for Chelsea in January 2023. He was brought on for the final 20 minutes for the Blues' Premier League clash with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, with the west Londoners managed by Graham Potter at the time.

The Jamaica international was also used in a friendly match against Aston Villa at the end of 2022. Potter, who was clearly a huge admirer of Hutchinson and his talent, was full of praise for the exciting winger after the game.

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"He was really good, really good," Potter said after Chelsea's mid-season friendly with Aston Villa in December 2022. "[He was] dangerous, asked questions all the time, I think he hit the bar in the first-half, but throughout the game he showed his quality."

Hutchinson, as a 12-year-old, got noticed by one of the best-ever to play the game of football, Pele. While playing for Arsenal's academy, the Brazilian icon was left impressed by what he saw from the winger.

"It was a crazy experience," Hutchinson said to Sky Sports last month. "He was at Brentford training ground and we were playing a tournament, and at the end of it they told one player from each team to do some skills.

"I didn't really want to go up, but everyone just sort of pushed me up. So I did my skills, and then we took a group photo with him, and he said I could rest on his knee.

"It just made me so happy, because my grandma loves Pele as well. She always gets me Pele books, Pele posters."

With his loan spell at Ipswich just two games away from ending, there may be half an eye on what is next for Hutchinson. The winger and his entourage will assess their options in the summer but there remains a high confidence that Chelsea will open talks to extend the youngster's contract at the club, understands.

Hutchinson has just over 12 months remaining on his contract with Chelsea as he prepares to report back to Cobham for pre-season training in the not-so-distant future. And while Noni Madueke has shown some promise this season, including a fine finish in Saturday evening's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, he is not a guarantee to be in the starting lineup when everyone is fit.

Cole Palmer, of course, Chelsea's top goal scorer, has shone on the right wing this season. It remains to be seen, however, exactly where Palmer will be used in the long-term for the Blues, with the England international also having spells in the centre.