Olivier Giroud urged Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri to play Callum Hudson-Odoi more often after the young winger impressed in his first Premier League start on Wednesday.
Chelsea ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge, with England international Hudson-Odoi setting up Giroud’s opening goal with a pinpoint right-wing cross, as well as being a general nuisance to Brighton’s defence.
Eden Hazard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek got the other goals, but Hudson-Odoi was arguably the standout performer for long periods.
Giroud is convinced the 18-year-old has what it takes to be a star, and suggested he needs to be played more regularly.
“I’m not surprised [about Hudson-Odoi],” Giroud told BBC Sport. “He’s improving. He’s got huge potential.
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“I’m sure he will become a top, top player. He needs to play in more games, but it’s coming. He’s a good player and a good man in the dressing room. England can be happy to have him.”
Sarri was also impressed with Hudson-Odoi and hinted he can expect to be a regular starter in the near future.
“After 50 matches it’s very difficult to play every three days,” the Italian said. “We needed to change.
“We’re lucky because Callum is doing very well. Loftus-Cheek has no problem with his back for the first time this season. Giroud is in a good period. We’re lucky.
“Callum played very well and defended very well. He has improved during the season a lot. He’s ready to play 90 minutes in very important matches.”
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