'Beautiful': Rio Ferdinand absolutely loved what 20-year-old Chelsea youngster did against Malmo

Rio Ferdinand told Callum Hudson-Odoi he could reach the levels of Jadon Sancho following his fine display for Chelsea against Malmo yesterday.

Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand suggested that Hudson-Odoi had the opportunity to match Manchester United’s £73m (Sky) signing if he continues to replicate last night’s Champions League exhibition.

The young Chelsea talent enjoyed a solid evening in Sweden on Tuesday, his fourth consecutive appearance in all competitions.

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Starting out as a left-forward once again, the 20-year-old showed flashes of quality during the first half but failed to find any end product.

That changed completely after the interval, thanks to Thomas Tuchel’s tactical tinkering.

He swapped Hudson-Odoi to the opposite flank and the results were almost instantaneous.

Ten minutes into the second period, the England Under-21 international played a perfect one-two with Kai Havertz, before delivering an even more accurate cross onto the toe of Hakim Ziyech.

All Ziyech had to do was caress the ball into the Malmo net, which he duly obliged.

After scoring the opener, the Moroccan and several other Chelsea players rushed straight over to Hudson-Odoi, aware of how brilliant the delivery was.

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Ferdinand’s foresight

“Tantalising ball. Beautiful. This is what you want from your wingers and this is what we’ve been waiting for and this is what we want to see on a consistent basis from Callum,” said Ferdinand.

“Listen, we’ve heard about Callum since he was a young kid coming through the ranks at Chelsea.

“Talking about him; him or Sancho, who’s the better player?

“He hasn’t quite lit it up yet as consistently as someone like Sancho has. But if he starts doing that on a regular basis, the hype will be real.

“You have to point out: he had an Achilles injury, a massive injury which he is still coming back from.

“You’ve got to give him the benefit of the doubt.”

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Sancho standing still

Of course, one game does not make up for a career of inconsistencies.

But, Hudson-Odoi is beginning to build some momentum, that’s being caused by a run in the side.

Meanwhile, Sancho’s struggles have been extremely well documented at United.

He is yet to score or assist in 12 appearances for the Red Devils and looks a shade of the star who left Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

Put into perspective, Hudson-Odoi has a goal and two assists in the past four outings.

Perhaps Sancho could take a leaf out of the Chelsea attacker’s book?

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.