Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek reveals what he's told Callum Hudson-Odoi in private

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has warned that it is “dangerous” to put too much pressure on the 18-year-old. But Loftus Cheek insisted: “If he’s good enough, he’s good enough.”

Hudson-Odoi is fast becoming a cult figure at Chelsea, after the crowd demanded during the Europa League clash with Dinamo Kiev that manager Maurizio Sarri to bring him on – and when he did, the youngster scored in the last minute in the 3-0 win.

Bayern Munich failed with three bids for Hudson-Odoi in January, the last of around £36 million, as his transfer request was rejected. But the Germans, with the youngsters’ contract running out, will come back in the summer.

The former England Under 17 World Cup winner had made it clear he wanted to go because of lack of opportunities at Stamford Bridge. Sarri has promised games – but Hudson-Odoi has yet to start a Premier League game.

On Thursday, Hudson-Odoi’s strike meant that he had been involved in seven goals in his last seven games at Stamford Bridge. It was his fourth goal of the season, and it followed efforts by Pero and Willian that put Chelsea firmly in control of the tie.

England star Loftus-Cheek, 23, has also had to fight his way through the ranks at Chelsea, and he said: “I know what he is going through, having been in the first team at that age.

“I’d love to help him. He is such a good kid and seeing him do so well I’m really happy for him. To give him that assist felt good.

“The fans have been great with me and Callum. Hopefully we can play together in the team. We’ll see.

“I talk to him. He is doing so well, he just wants to play. He is young, fresh, has that momentum.

“He is scoring, so when he doesn’t start and feels he should, it’s part of the game. I’ve told him ‘you’re at a big club, you’re young, keep your head focussed, keep doing what you’re doing’, like he did against Dinamo. He came on and did well.

“The manager knows him well. He sees him in training every day and he will make the decision. Callum is doing well and that’s all you can do.”

Loftus-Cheek himself, now fit again after more injury problems in January, revealed that he now has to undergo a special routine to keep his troublesome back healthy.

The Chelsea forward said: “The back problem came again against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. I tried to push through it, but if I’d carried on, I would have done more damage.

“I was distraught going down the tunnel that day. I knew had to wait to get it right.

“I can’t force anything. I’ve said before that it’s behind me, and then it has come back. Now I am working with the physios, I think we have nailed it. I have had it since I was 17. It’s been a tough couple of years. Hopefully we have got a routine to manage it now.

“It’s a muscular problem. I have a big curve in my lower back, and I’m a big guy. I’ve got to keep it strong, keep it loose. I have a routine now. I’ve been doing yoga. I’m not very good at it but I have to start somewhere!

“It was obviously on my mind. I hoped it would be alright, but it wasn’t the case. As a footballer you want to be free in your mind, to feel physically good. That’s when I had to make a decision with the physios. I knew I couldn’t play with it any more.”


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