Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi still needs to prove Premier League credentials

Callum Hudson-Odoi

This prospect, one which now sees Ruben Loftus-Cheek - who started during the World Cup for England - unable to find a way into Sarri's starting Premier League team, is said to have led Hudson-Odoi to look elsewhere for first-team opportunities.

Christensen has been frequently excluded from the Chelsea set-up under Maurizio Sarri, failing to appear in the Premier League this season and relegated to roles in their Europa League campaign which is usually regarded as a second-string side being fielded.

Cairney struck the Championship play-off final victor in Fulham's 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley that secured their Premier League promotion.

Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz are the first choice centre-backs for Chelsea season meaning Gary Cahill has to be content with playing in second fiddle games.

But despite being impressed with the youngster's performance, Sarri wasn't getting carried away.

I have been to (Cobham) - he was very kind with me.

While some pondered on how hard life at the Bridge has become for the 27-year-old, the prospect of Hudson-Odoi becoming the long-term successor to the Nigeria brings a little respite to Blues downside the Atlantic.

"He played very well, but the type of match was for his characteristics", Sarri said.

"I want him to play as well in the Premier League as he did in the Championship".

The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder has been at Stamford Bridge since 2014, signing a five-year contract in the process.

"He's a very good coach and deserves to be where he is".

At youth level, he won two FA Youth Cups and the U-18 Premier League, as well as a World Cup for England at U-17 level.

"Friend is a big word, I think, but I like him very much", said Sarri.

He scored in consecutive matches for the Blues in October and has since emerged as key player for manager Sarri. Before the match we knew were in the first of the group after the BATE result, so it wasn't easy to find a big motivation.

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