English Premiership

Sarri says he would have to sell to accommodate Hudson-Odoi

2019-02-22 14:40
Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri
Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri (Getty Images)

London - Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea would have to sell one of their established wingers in order to satisfy Callum Hudson-Odoi's desire for immediate first-team action.

Teenage prospect Hudson-Odoi has grown restless at Stamford Bridge and handed in a January transfer request as offers came in from German champions Bayern Munich.

The 18-year-old, who has yet to start a Premier League match, seized a rare opportunity by scoring the Blues' final goal in Thursday's 3-0 Europa League victory over Swedish club Malmo, wrapping up a 5-1 aggregate success.

But manager Sarri called for patience, explaining that he would need to allow Pedro, Willian or Eden Hazard to depart to accommodate Hudson-Odoi now.

"You need to understand that, in the same position, we have Pedro, Willian and Hazard," said Sarri.

"I want to remind you that Callum, with this one (against Malmo), played 14 matches. There isn't in England another 18-year-old player with 14 matches in the first team. So I think that we are using him in the right way at the moment."

"If I am at the club and I want Callum to play consistently, I have to sell another winger," he added. "Otherwise the manager is in trouble."

The Italian manager has come under increased scrutiny in west London, having dropped to sixth in the league and with some Blues fans joining in with chants for him to be sacked during Monday's FA Cup loss to Manchester United.

His team are set to contest Sunday's League Cup final with Manchester City, attempting to avenge a 6-0 humiliation at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month.

There were also some jeers when Sarri introduced midfielder Jorginho as a second-half substitute on Thursday.

The Italy international, signed in the summer from Sarri's former club Napoli, is regarded by many as embodying his manager's 'Sarri-ball' philosophy, a strategy that has recently failed to produce results and critics feel is one dimensional.

"I think in the first 30 minutes (against Malmo) we understood why Jorginho is very important for our team. We were in trouble to exit from our half, on pressing," he said.

"I hope that our fans will be able to understand that Jorginho, for us, is really a very important player."

 

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