Sarri Plays Down Hudson-Odoi Performance As Talk Of The Youngster Leaving Gathers Pace
Callum Hudson-Odoi was handed his first competitive start for Chelsea last night as the Blues hosted PAOK at Stamford Bridge in the Europa League.
Maurizio Sarri's men ran out 4-0 winners and the 18-year-old bagged a goal after an Olivier Giroud brace before setting up an Alvaro Morata header.
It looked like Hudson-Odoi was set to miss out on a starting place as Sarri was critical of the Englishman in the pre-match press conference, however, he was a surprise inclusion in Sarri's line-up.
Before last night the young forward had only made two appearances so far this term, both against BATE Borisov, gaining just a mere 35 minutes of game time.
And despite an impressive performance last night Hudson-Odoi doesn't look any closer to more regular appearances for the Stamford Bridge side.
"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."
The 18-year-old impressed in a pre-season friendly against Arsenal in Dublin, giving Hector Bellerin nightmares out wide, earning himself a start in the Community Shield, however, he failed to get another start until last night.
Hudson-Odoi was offered a long-term deal by the Blues following the dazzling performances against their Premier League rivals, although months have passed, and that deal remains unsigned.
A move away from Chelsea to a European club could work out in the youngster's favour, take Jadon Sancho for example, he left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund and has been a star man for both his club and England this year.
And with Chelsea odds-on (4/7) to sign Dortmund wide-man Christian Pulisic the youngster looks set to fall even further down the pecking order at the Bridge.
Bayern Munich and Juventus are just a couple of high-profile clubs keeping tabs on the forward as it is understood he is considering leaving the West London club.