Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi was given a rare start as Chelsea went away to face Tottenham at the Wembley Stadium in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final clash.
Hudson-Odoi proved his worth to Sarri and was Chelsea’s brightest attacking prospect, especially in the first half. He offered constant threat down the right and was not afraid to attack Danny Rose, and Chelsea’s most promising attacks came down his side. Although when Sarri moved him to the left flank to accommodate Pedro, his attack seemed to die off and it also affected Chelsea’s play.
Hudson-Odoi was taken off with about 15 minutes left of the game, as Sarri decided to introduce Olivier Giroud, but it was enough for him to leave an impact.
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri was impressed with the teenager’s performance and revealed that the 18-year-old played like a 25-year-old.
Sarri said: “Hudson-Odoi in the last week has been very normal.
“I saw him every day in training and he was really very normal. He is improving, in the last match he played very well and also today a very good match.
“He played like a player of 25, 26 years. A very good match with application, very good in the defensive phase, but he has been completely normal. Maybe he does not read anything.”
Sarri has given assurances to Hudson-Odoi that he will be getting more opportunities before the end of the season, and believes the teenager should keep his head calm and focus on Chelsea.
“I think so, he’s ready,” said Sarri. “Of course we have very important players in the same position, so do you want Willian or Pedro on the bench? I can play with only two wingers, three is difficult.
“But I think now he is ready. He can play but of course sometimes he will be on the bench, like Willian or Pedro, but now I can start to consider him at the same level.
“I know for me he is a very important player, he‘s young and now he’s improving, especially in the defensive phase. I think he played really well in the last match. He was in trouble in the game at Watford but only because he had a problem in his hamstring. I’m really very happy with him, I don’t know the situation with the club but for me he’s an important player.”