England manager Gareth Southgate has dropped a hint that Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi could feature in the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic tomorrow (Friday).
The 18-year-old has been called into the England senior squad for the first time, having only been moved up from the England U21 squad earlier this week following some withdrawals from Southgate’s squad.
But after seeing the Chelsea youngster in training this week, Southgate says he has been impressed by Hudson-Odoi, who has scored five goals in 16 appearances so far this season for the Blues.
And although he has not yet started a Premier League game for Chelsea, Southgate says he would have “no hesitation” in playing him in the Euro 2020 qualifier at Wembley.
In praising Hudson-Odoi’s “ability and mentality”, Southgate had a message for Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.
He said: “I can’t wait for clubs to pick a player 50 times.”
“Callum is ready. I have no hesitation (in considering playing him). He looks every inch an England international in training.”
Hudson-Odoi’s chances of featuring for the Three Lions have been boosted by the withdrawal of Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, who has been ruled out of England’s games against Czech Republic and Montenegro with a foot injury.
“Marcus has been with us all week and arrived with a problem with his foot,” Southgate said.
“Unfortunately it hasn’t progressed enough for us to think he’s going to have a chance to play on Monday, so we’ve decided the best thing for him to do now is to go back to his club.”
As a result, Hudson-Odoi is one of the possible candidates to start for the Three Lions, along with Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.