Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has explained his reasons for substituting youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi during the Blues’ 2-1 victory against Watford on Wednesday.
Sarri opted to introduce the 18-year-old following Pedro’s injury near the end of the first half. The change was viewed as surprising to many as it came at a time when the Hornets were actually looking to be the more threatening side.
It also marked Hudson-Odoi’s first league appearance of the season. Introducing an inexperienced player at a time when a club is not on top is rare. What was also surprising was the fact that Sarri substituted Hudson-Odoi with five minutes remaining and brought on Emerson Palmieri.
Sarri has since justified the reasoning for substituting the Chelsea academy graduate. As reported by Metro, the Italian tactician said: “We don’t know how much Pedro is injured, we will evaluate tomorrow.
“That is the same problem with Callum Hudson-Odoi. He had a little injury a few days ago, yesterday it was good and he managed 50 to 55 minutes. We thought it was better to substitute him.”
Chelsea went on to win the match through a brace from the in-form Eden Hazard. The opportunity given to Hudson-Odoi would have no doubt helped him in terms of his development and growth going forward.
The England U-19 international does look like he could have a bright future ahead of him and it is quite impressive that Sarri chose to introduce him onto the field ahead of other more experienced options. However, the Blues must consider sending him on loan to another club where he can get regular first-team football. This will help him to play more consistently at the highest level and it will also help the Blues hierarchy to gauge whether he is genuine first-team material.