Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi admits he could not believe it when he was told to get ready ahead of his England debut last night (Friday).
The 18-year-old made his debut at senior level as he came off the bench in a 5-0 win for the Three Lions against Czech Republic at Wembley in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier.
Hudson-Odoi replaced hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling to complete a whirlwind week for the Chelsea youngster, who only linked up with the senior squad on Monday after initially being called up to the U21 squad and joining them in Bristol.
However, he impressed Southgate in training this week, with the Three Lions boss saying ahead of the game with Czech Republic that, in his opinion, Hudson-Odoi was ready to play for England.
That is despite the teenager not yet starting a Premier League game for Chelsea, with Hudson-Odoi finding his opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge, with five goals in 16 appearances for the Blues so far this season.
And the forward, who became England’s youngest debutant in a competitive international, spoke of his delight at earning his first cap at senior level.
“‘I’m definitely delighted. I want to thank everybody for helping me get here, and to get the opportunity to play is a massive feeling in front of the home crowd as well,” he said.
“Hopefully there’s many more to come.
“I couldn’t believe it [when I was told to get ready]. I didn’t think it was real. I was looking around the crowd and everybody looked happy – I couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t know what to do, but I was delighted, and hopefully there’ll be many more to come.”