‘He’s maturing well’ – Southgate believes Chelsea are the right fit for England debutant

Does Callum Hudson-Odoi really need to leave Chelsea in order to get more first-team opportunities? England manager Gareth Southgate has suggested that he doesn’t.

Southgate is clearly a man who has plenty of faith in our CHO. It may well be the Steve Holland influence, but his decision to draft him straight into the senior squad – and actually play him – is brilliant to see.

Hudson-Odoi will no doubt be hungry for even more opportunities with England, even if he is only 18-years-old. The traditional notion is that he’ll need more regular game-time to get them, but Southgate has claimed to the contrary.

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Southgate is quoted by the Metro defending Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and revealing his belief that Hudson-Odoi is in fact getting a decent amount of game-time for a player of his tender age at Stamford Bridge:

“If you look at number of appearances, he has actually been on the field quite a lot. And I know from when we were talking with the club earlier in the season how much faith Maurizio has in him.”

“He has got some outstanding players just in front of him but he’s slowly getting more and more game time. So, I think he’s maturing well. There doesn’t need to be a rush for him.”

“We’ve seen that with Marcus Rashford and his development. He’s getting first-team football and that’s important. For us, I think his progress is good.”

It’s an interesting take from Southgate. Even we, as Chelsea fans, believe that Hudson-Odoi needs to be playing more frequently than he has been this season. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough, and he certainly is.

There can be no doubting that Hudson-Odoi would play more elsewhere, but if Sarri has as much faith as Southgate claims, and international opportunities are coming, does he really have any reason to leave this summer?

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