HARGREAVES REVEALS WHAT HUDSON-ODOI MUST DO TO BENCH WILLIAN

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Callum Hudson-Odoi is one of Chelsea’s brightest prospects, and the academy product has shown that he has the potential to make it at the big stage.

However, game time has been tough for the youngster who’s yet to make an appearance in the league this season.

The 18-year-old shone during pre-season and was also the star of the team in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over PAOK in the Europa League clash on Thursday.

Speaking after the game, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri revealed he was pleased with the performance of the 18-year-old but doesn’t think Hudson-Odoi is ready to play in the Premier League.

“I don’t know if Hudson-Odoi is able for the Premier League at 18, especially in a big team,” Sarri said.

“If he’s good enough to play in a big team in the Premier League at 18 then he could be the best player in Europe in two years.

“I think he played very well but the type of match was for his characteristics as they had 10 men after seven minutes. We only needed to play in the offensive phase, he’s very able to do this but I want to see him in a match when he has to play in a defensive phase.”

Hargreaves find himself behind Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro in the pecking order, and former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes it’s time for the youngster to play, but that he might have to go out on loan.

“He’s a special, special young player – he really is,” Hargreaves told BT Sport.

“I don’t care if he’s 18, he’s ready to play. He just needs some games. Even though he’s 18 he feels like he’s ready. He looks humble. The thing I like about him is his decision making is good. I think he has a feel for the game. He’s going to affect games every time he plays.

“For the young kids – I don’t care if it’s Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City or Manchester United – to compete with the world class talent that those top-four teams have in those positions is virtually impossible.

“You look at Jadon Sancho, he wasn’t getting enough opportunities at Manchester City, he went to [Borussia] Dortmund – he’s probably one of the best assist givers in all of Europe. Now everybody wants him.

“So for Hudson-Odoi to compete with with Hazard is impossible.

“For Hudson-Odoi it’s hard because the players in those positions – Willian, Hazard, Pedro – they’re all world class. ‘So I think a year loan or a two-year loan [would be beneficial]. I could see that working.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.