Chris Sutton has claimed he’ll be shocked if Callum Hudson-Odoi starts for Chelsea against Atletico Madrid.
The Blues face Atletico on Tuesday night in the away leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, albeit the match is being played at a neutral venue in Bucharest due to flight restrictions in Spain.
A lot of the pre-match talk has been around Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was substituted in the weekend 1-1 draw with Southampton despite only entering the match as a substitute at half time.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel publicly criticised the 20-year-old’s performance post-match, but has since explained that the issue has been resolved and confirmed (Football.London) he could even start against Atletico.
Pundit and ex-Blues frontman Sutton has stated he can’t see Hudson-Odoi being named in the XI in tonight’s Champions League showdown.
The £120,000-a-week (Spotrac) speedster has featured regularly at the start of Tuchel’s reign, but will need to show a lot of character to bounce back now.
“[Tuchel] must think Hudson-Odoi is a strong character who can handle it, but this is a dangerous approach to management,” Sutton wrote in the Daily Mail.
“Tuchel said Hudson-Odoi could start against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night. I’d be surprised after this. Tuchel needs his players to be on board with his plans, and he has risked making an enemy of one here.”
The Chronicle View
Aged 20, Hudson-Odoi is going to need to show a lot mettle after his public humiliation at the weekend.
But there is no doubting the English wide player has the quality to be a star at Chelsea and it should just be a minor bump in the road.
He’s been used as both an attacker and wing-back so far under the German manager, but the showdown with La Liga leaders Atletico will surely require a bit more defensive steel.
Chelsea know they have the second leg to play at Stamford Bridge, which is why tonight’s game is about staying in the tie and an away goal would be superb.