Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri handed Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi his first Premier League start of the season as the Blues beat Brighton 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The 18-year-old impressed in his first Premier League start and set up Olivier Giroud’s opener.
Asked what he thought of Hudson-Odoi’s performance, Sarri said: “Very well, but I was sure about that. As I said yesterday Callum is ready to play in every match, also the most difficult matches, because he has improved a lot during the season. He played very well.
“This match was very suitable for him. They usually defend very low and tight. He is able to start wide, and for him there was the possibility to play one against one 25 times in a match.
“I am also really happy with him because he defended very well. For us it’s very important to have three offensive players able to defend, otherwise it’s a problem for the balance of the team. So tactically now he is ready.”
Sarri also revealed the joke he had with the 18-year-old after the game.
“He is happy, but I told him he missed a very easy chance in the first half! He smiled. He has to stay with his feet on the floor. He’s a good boy,” Sarri said.
“Of course now he can risk to stop improving, he can risk thinking he is a player at 100 per cent, but it’s not true. It’s impossible to be at the top when you are 18. He needs to improve, he can improve, and I want him to improve because he can become one of the best players in Europe.”
Sarri was also impressed with the performance of Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen.
“I have to say another thing. We are talking about Callum and Ruben, but I was impressed by the performance of Christensen,” Sarri said.
“I want to speak also about him. In the last period Christensen has played five or six matches really very well.”