New Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri is hoping that Callum Hudson-Odoi can make an impact in the first team this season after starring against Arsenal on Wednesday.
The 17-year-old forward was included in the Blues’ pre-season touring party and made his third start as Sarri’s side drew 1-1 with the Gunners in the International Champions Cup.
The FA Cup champions went on to lose 6-5 in a penalty shootout at the Aviva Stadium, but it was Hudson-Odoi who stood out on the pitch as he constantly tormented Hector Bellerin with his pace and energy.
The teenager even won a penalty off Bellerin in the first half, which Alvaro Morata failed to convert, and Sarri confirmed after the match that he will be a part of the first-team squad for the 2018/19 campaign.
“Hudson-Odoi is a very young player. We have to wait,” the Italian coach told reporters in Dublin.
“In the future he will be a very, very strong player for sure. He will stay with us [in the first team] for the season.”
Hudson-Odoi graduated from the west London club’s academy in 2017 and went on to make his senior debut against Newcastle in the FA Cup on January, before being handed his Premier League bow three days later in the 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth.