Making the case for Callum Hudson-Odoi to start the Carabao Cup Final

A Teenage Dream

Chelsea’s eighteen-year-old starlet has impressed virtually each time he’s played this season, putting in notable displays versus Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup and more recently in the second leg of the Europa League tie against Malmo, where he netted the final goal of the game to make it 3-0.

It’s performances such as those mentioned that attracted the interest of Bayern Munich in the January transfer window, with the Germans believed to have made four bids for Hudson-Odoi, the largest offer being of around £35million.

The Blues made the decision to keep their youngster as they are aware of the player he could become, though the teenager may disagree with Gianfranco Zola’s “lucky” remark when talking about Hudson-Odoi’s first team opportunities up to now.

Many would argue that Chelsea are lucky themselves to have such a talent within their squad and it certainly appeared that way during the victory over Malmo, as an air of anticipation and excitement filled the ground each time he got the ball.

Hudson-Odoi Chelsea

Does he deserve a start?

There is no doubting that the boy possesses quality which few others do, and in all honesty, Chelsea would lose little by giving him a chance in the eleven on Sunday afternoon with the usual starters struggling to reach the expected standard.

Pedro is a doubt ahead of the Carabao Cup Final due to illness which could pave the way for Hudson-Odoi to enter the line up, as he is unlikely to shift either Eden Hazard or Willian from their spots despite heavy criticism for the Brazilian from the Stamford Bridge faithful in recent weeks.

Starting him could send the message he so desperately craves – that he is needed and wanted at the club and is trusted to play for Chelsea in their biggest affairs, whereas leaving him on the bench after such good performances will only hinder the Englishman’s confidence and possibly turn his head elsewhere, even with the transfer ban the club have been hit with.

Hudson-Odoi Fabregas

Manager’s Decision

Unfortunately for Hudson-Odoi, Maurizio Sarri seems less excited than the fans when talking about the youngster, claiming that he has “much to learn”, to which Chelsea fans would argue that he will only learn if he competes at the highest level.

Sarri has also falsely credited himself with giving Hudson-Odoi the most games when compared to all other eighteen-year-old Englishmen, as Phil Foden and Ryan Sessegnon have both appeared in the first team more than the Chelsea prospect.

This should worry supporters as they will have seen what Jadon Sancho has achieved at Borussia Dortmund when given the chance to play, and Germany is a very enticing place for young British talent at the moment.

Hudson-Odoi has already won the hearts and praise of Chelsea fans and if it were up to them there is no question that he would start against Manchester City on Sunday, however it does not look as though the boss is willing to allow anyone else but himself influence his decisions and if he is to lose his job he will do so of his own accord.