Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 July 2019

Maurizio Sarri: Callum Hudson-Odoi will get Premier League start for Chelsea

The teenager has started for England but is yet to play a full 90 minutes for his club side

Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to start a Premier League game for the first time for Chelsea. AFP 
Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to start a Premier League game for the first time for Chelsea. AFP 

Maurizio Sarri says Callum Hudson-Odoi is likely to be handed his first Premier League start in one of Chelsea's next two matches.

Sarri has come in for heavy criticism for his reluctance to play the 18-year-old England international, with unhappy Blues fans chanting the winger's name during Sunday's unconvincing win at Cardiff.

"During this season he has improved and now he's ready to play," said head coach Sarri, whose side host Brighton on Wednesday before West Ham visit Stamford Bridge on Monday.

"I know Callum very well and I want him to improve more because his potential is high and Callum is always in my mind.

"In my opinion, he is our future and now he is ready to play. Probably he will start tomorrow or in the next match."

Hudson-Odoi, who won his first international caps last month, was named on the bench alongside rested duo Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante in south Wales.

Sarri says Hazard and Kante are likely to return to his starting XI against Brighton.

"I don't know at the moment but I think so," he said.

"They rested in the last match. We need to consider that N'Golo has played 50 matches this season and Hazard 48.

"Sometimes they need to rest but now they are OK, I think."

Former Napoli boss Sarri, whose job has come under threat in 2019, also insisted he is unconcerned by criticism from Blues fans.

"I am not happy, of course, but I am not concerned. It can happen," he added.

"I can understand very well the frustration of our fans. But, in the end, we are not doing so badly.

"During this season, we have won 33 matches.

"I think that, in England, only Manchester City did better than us. Of course, we know very well we need to improve our performances."

Updated: April 2, 2019 05:19 PM

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