HASSELBAINK: IT’S TIME TO PLAY HUDSON-ODOI OVER PEDRO AND WILLIAN

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Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi is currently behind Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian in the pecking order at Chelsea, and although the youngster has proven himself at times, he’s yet to play his way into the Chelsea first team.

The 18-year-old has made 19 appearances already this season but is yet to start a single Premier League game, only coming on as a substitute, with most of his starts in the cup competitions – FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League.

Maurizio Sarri believes Hudson-Odoi is still too young to break into the Chelsea team and believes that the youngster could do so at age 22.

However, England boss Gareth Southgate has thrashed Sarri’s philosophy by not only calling Hudson-Odoi to the England senior team, but also giving him a debut and also a start.

The Chelsea youngster was a second-half substitute in England’s 5-0 win over Czech Republic, coming on with 20 minutes left and assisted a goal. He started England’s next game, which was against Montenegro away from home, and played the entire game as England won the match 5-1.

The onus is now on Sarri to trust the youngster more, and Chelsea legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has urged Sarri to give Hudson-Odoi a chance, telling him that the 18-year-old is currently doing better than Pedro and Willian, as he insisted that only Eden Hazard is having a better season than Hudson-Odoi.

“It might be that he lifts the team in a different way and gives them a different dimension,” said Hasselbaink.

“Chelsea should bring more youngsters through. I would say Hudson-Odoi deserves a chance.

“You have to say yes, he should be given a chance, because the others in his position are not really playing well at this moment.

“The only one that is really producing his best – a seven or eight or sometimes a nine – is (Eden) Hazard.”

Hasselbaink indeed has a point, as Willian has just three Premier League goals in 22 starts this season, while Pedro has a more impressive eight from 18.

Sarri has struggled to implement his style in England, as teams have found a way to hurt Sarri-ball, and the Italian’s job is under pressure.

But Hasselbaink has urged Chelsea to keep faith with the 60-year-old, insisting that this is only his first season in England, and he’ll learn from it.

“It’s his first season in England and he is learning,” said the Blues legend.

“He has brought a lot of positive things to Chelsea. Let’s not forget that.”

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.