Joe Cole insists that Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi is in a “great place” and that he’s going to improve because of the environment he’s working in.
Hudson-Odoi, who earns £120,000-a-week, has been dubbed one of the most exciting talents to come out of the academy at Cobham in recent years.
The wide speedster has made 100 first-team appearances for the Blues since a senior breakthrough a few years ago, but he’s certainly not been a regular under current manager Thomas Tuchel.
He’s started in two of the opening five games this season, including the UEFA Super Cup win over Villarreal. His first Premier League appearance came at the weekend in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
However, the Englishman has been used as a right wing-back rather than his preferred attacking role as a winger.
Pundit and ex-Blues star Cole remains confident, though, about Hudson-Odoi’s potential.
“Callum’s in a great place where he has a great coach and a great team around him. All these great players can grow and learn around from the manager,” Cole told the Daily Mail.
“I expect improvement (from him). But I like to talk about the collective at the club. I think they’ve been so well-schooled by the academy, so well-drilled as footballers. I think looking at the development of all of them, they will all improve at different rates. And the ones that have gone out on loan, they can become world class players.”
Hudson-Odoi future is clouded right now
Of course, 20-year-old Hudson-Odoi is still in the infancy of his senior career and it’s no major concern that he’s not yet in Chelsea’s best XI.
But, it’s slightly alarming that Tuchel is playing him out of position.
The speedster just doesn’t look a natural in the full-back role, so it’s surely not something he wants to do for the rest of the season.
His aim has to be to become a Blues starter as a winger. Therefore, he needs some opportunities further up the pitch to express himself and show his improvement.
Hudson-Odoi’s main issue is that there are so many quality attacking options within the Chelsea squad, meaning it’s hard to see where he’ll get much of a look-in.
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