Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi made his England debut this international break at the age of 18, coming on as a substitute in the Three Lion’s 5-0 victory over Czech Republic on Friday.
The Chelsea academy product was given a 20-minute cameo for his senior debut as he came on as a second-half substitute in England’s 5-0 win over Czech. The 18-year-old impressed in his 20-minute cameo and even assisted a goal, giving Gareth Southgate the confidence to give him a start in their next game.
He was then given his first senior start as England ran out 5-1 winners over Montenegro on Monday evening. Hudson-Odoi was one of England’s best players in the 5-1 victory and played the entire 90 minutes where the winger started on the right flank and but improved greatly once Gareth Southgate played him in his favoured role on the left.
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has revealed that he watched the youngster for only 20 minutes because he had many other players to watch and wasn’t too impressed with his initial performance.
Asked if he watched Hudson-Odoi in action for England, Sarri said: “No, only 20 minutes because I had 14 players in the national teams and had no time to watch 20 matches.
“I saw the England national team for only 20 or 25 minutes. Callum didn’t start very well in the first 20 minutes on the right. He did very well on the left immediately.
“I know him very well, and I know very well he prefers to play on the left.”
Hudson-Odoi is yet to start a Premier League game for Chelsea this season despite his fine form, but Sarri has now assured that the youngster will get a couple of starts in the upcoming games, but insisted that the youngster must continue to improve.
He told the media in his press conference: “We have to play eight matches in 28 days. I am sure Callum will start in two or three of those matches. Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, for me it is the same. I am really very confident in him.
“It’s not a problem for me to put him in the starting XI in a Premier League match. He is ready. But I can only play with two wingers, and we have Hazard, Willian and Pedro. In the near future probably he will start 75 or 80 per cent of matches.
“He is doing very well, but he needs to improve more. His potential is very high. I don’t want him to stop improving. He can become one of the best players in Europe, but he needs to improve more. The risk is to stop improving.
“In the last season Callum was only 17 and he played three or four matches. This season he is only 18 and at the moment he has played 19 or 20 matches. The evolution is the right evolution. Probably he will play 30 or 35 matches next season. With Callum we are on the right path.”