Callum Hudson-Odoi must start in the Europa League on Thursday
Despite a positive pre-season, first-team minutes have been hard to come by for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Only 17 years old, Hudson-Odoi impressed new manager Maurizio Sarri to such an extent that he has been training with the first team.
And as a sign of Sarri’s faith in Hudson-Odoi, he’s wearing the number 20 shirt this season.
He started the Community Shield loss to Manchester City in August, but has found it tough going since then.
Apart from Chelsea’s EFL Cup match with Liverpool, Hudson-Odoi hasn’t been involved in any match-day squads.
Like fellow youngster Ethan Ampadu, opportunities to impress have been in short supply.
He’s played all four of Chelsea’s Premier League 2 matches, scoring a goal and getting an assist.
The national set-up have noticed his promise, as Hudson-Odoi is now a member of the England under-19 team.
He was part of the England U17 team that won the World Cup, along with Phil Foden and Rhian Brewster.
Rotation is Hudson-Odoi’s ally
But Chelsea’s upcoming game with Mol Vidi in the Europa League is the perfect opportunity for Hudson-Odoi to get his first start of the season.
Mol Vidi – formally Videoton – are third in Hungary’s top tier, and are probably the weakest team in Chelsea’s group.
Therefore, with the strength in depth that Chelsea possess, they should have more than enough to beat the Hungarians at home.
For Hudson-Odoi to develop, he must get first-team football, whether at Chelsea or on loan.
And Sarri, should be seriously considering giving Chelsea’s youngster a first run-out of the season on Thursday.
What’s more, some of Chelsea’s attacking players – Willian in particular – have looked off the pace recently.
A rest on Thursday wouldn’t be the worst idea with a busy schedule on the horizon, so Hudson-Odoi may benefit.