Former Chelsea goalkeeper Rob Green admits Maurizio Sarri’s reluctance to offer Callum Hudson-Odoi left senior stars at Stamford Bridge asking: ‘How is he not playing?!’
A talented academy graduate forced his way into the first-team fold during the 2018-19 campaign.
His potential was clear for all to see, but an Italian coach in west London was initially reluctant to hand the teenager a regular role.
That led to serious questions being asked of Hudson-Odoi’s future, with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich making efforts to lure him to Germany during the January transfer window.
Those advances were knocked back, as a hot prospect earned international recognition with England, and he has gone on to sign a new long-term contract.
Frank Lampard’s arrival as Sarri’s successor has further aided the cause of a forward who has fully recovered from a serious Achilles injury, with a more prominent role now being enjoyed.
That comes as no surprise to Green, with the ex-England shot-stopper telling Radio 5 Live of his early experience of Hudson-Odoi: “We were in the dressing room last season and the players were saying 'how is he not playing?'
“He was going out in training and tearing some of the best defenders in the world apart. He was consistently the best in training.
“It was to the point where some of the best players in the world were standing there applauding what he was doing.”