Paul Merson has backed Maurizio Sarri in the Chelsea manager’s decision to bench Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The teenage winger has impressed during his limited minutes on the pitch this season and even registered his 4th goal for the Blues in the UEFA Europa League fixture against Dynamo Kiev on Thursday.
Merson said, “I wouldn’t play Hudson-Odoi at the moment. ‘I think he’s got to be patient. Pedro’s playing well at the moment. He’s turned it around. This is the player who came from Barcelona, he’s playing that way at the moment.”
“I think Willian’s a top player as well. Them three [with Eden Hazard] all sing off the same hymn sheet, they’re experienced players who have played with each other for a long time. Hudson-Odoi doesn’t buy into that at the moment. He won’t play one-twos and flick balls round the corner. He’s an out-and-out winger.”
“Give him the ball, he’ll isolate his defender and take him on. He needs to improve his game. The longer he’s there training with quality players, and with this appeal which has just gone down, stay at Chelsea because you’re going to get games now.”
Merson further added, “I love him [Hudson-Odoi]. Just look at what he has achieved at the age of 18. Every time he plays he affects the game and makes things happen. The only problem is Willian and Pedro are producing as well.”
“But every time he plays he looks ready. He needs more games. If he doesn’t get them he should go elsewhere.”
“The problem is they’ve just spent £50m on Pulisic. What’s the point of that? You can’t tell me he’s a better player than Callum. Not in a million years! It’s bizarre. It doesn’t look like the opportunities are there. So he may have to go play somewhere else for a year on loan and then come back.”