Ruben Loftus-Cheek fires message to Maurizio Sarri over Callum Hudson-Odoi

Should Hudson-Odoi get more game time? (Picture: Fantasista/Getty Images)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek does not think Callum Hudson-Odoi should be held back by his age, despite Maurizio Sarri’s claims that he is too young to thrive at the very highest level.

The 18-year-old’s future has been a source of major concern among Chelsea fans, with his contract set to expire in 2020.

He’s refusing to put pen to paper on a new deal as he searches for first-team football and some of Europe’s top clubs, including Bayern Munich, are keen to land him.

Hudson-Odoi enjoyed an impressive cameo in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on Thursday night, scoring his side’s third goal having come off the bench in the 78th minute, but Sarri again played down his chances of becoming a first XI regular anytime soon.

‘I don’t like if the press or the fans put too much pressure on him. At the moment he only has to think about improving,’ the Italian said.

Loftus-Cheek feels Hudson-Odoi is ready (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

‘It’s impossible to be at the top at 18. He needs to improve and then he will be at the top when he is 22 or 23.’

But Loftus-Cheek does not age should be a factor in the discussion.

‘If he’s good enough, he’s good enough,’ Loftus-Cheek said. ‘I think the manager knows him well.

‘He sees him in training every day and he will make the decision. But Callum is doing well at the minute and that’s all you can do.

‘I think he is doing so well now; 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.

Will Hudson-Odoi get more opportunities? (Picture: Getty)

‘I’ve told him: “You’re at a big club, you’re young, just keep your head focused and keep doing what you’re doing” — like he did against Dynamo. He came on and did well.’

Hudson-Odoi was reported to have handed in a transfer request in January as he looked to force through a £35million move to Bayern and Loftus-Cheek admitted he sympathised with his team-mate.

‘I know what he is going through, having been at that age in the first team as well,’ he added. ‘If I can help him do well, I’d love to do that.

‘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.’


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