Gianfranco Zola opens up about Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea FC
Gianfranco Zola opens up about Callum Hudson-Odoi's situation at Chelsea FC this season
Gianfranco Zola has defended Maurizio Sarri’s treatment of Callum Hudson-Odoi this season.
The 18-year-old’s situation at Chelsea FC has been the subject of much debate this season after Bayern Munich were reported to have repeatedly tried to sign him in the January transfer window.
However, Chelsea FC did not let the teenager leave the club in January despite his lack of opportunities in the first team this season and the player reportedly handing in a transfer request.
The youngster is yet to start a Premier League game this season and he was limited to just six minutes as a substitute during the Europa League win over Malmo last week.
However, Chelsea FC coach Zola has defended Sarri’s use of the English youngster despite Hudson-Odoi having only made four starts in all competitions this season.
Zola is quoted as saying by Sky Sports: “Sorry but I disagree with this. He is always on the edge of the team.
“As soon as there is an opportunity he plays, sometimes from the beginning. The manager is giving plenty of reasons for him to feel involved and wanted.
“There are not many 18-year-olds at top clubs in Europe who are playing as much as him. On top of that, he is a player that we appreciate and believe is growing up.
“He has a bright future at this club. All of the coaching group likes him. You need to understand he is surrounded by top players and you have to work hard to be better than them.
“That’s what we want from him, to make sure he keeps improving because he can do better.”
Hudson-Odoi will be hoping to be involved when Chelsea FC return to FA Cup action on Monday night with a home clash against Manchester United in the fifth round.
The Blues will then host Malmo in the return leg of their Europa League tie at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.