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Callum Hudson-Odoi can finally start for Maurizio Sarri

Big chance: Chelsea youngster Hudson-Odoi PICTURE: GETTY

MAURIZIO SARRI says Callum Hudson-Odoi is likely to be handed his first Premier League start in one of Chelsea’s next two matches.

Sarri has come in for criticism for his reluctance to play the 18-year-old England international, who has impressed while coming off the bench for his club and during his starts in the Europa League, and was the subject of interest from German giants Bayern Munich in January.

Blues fans chanted the winger’s name during Sunday’s unconvincing league win at Cardiff. ‘First of all, in pre-season after four or five training sessions, I realised Callum was really a player with very great potential,’ said Chelsea boss Sarri, whose side host Brighton tonight and West Ham on Monday.

‘In my opinion, in that moment, he wasn’t ready to play at this level. But during this season he has improved and now he’s ready. In my opinion, he is our future and now he is ready to play. Probably he will start tomorrow or in the next match.’

Sarri also again insisted he is unmoved by criticism from Blues fans. ‘I am not happy, of course, but I am not concerned,’ he added.

‘It can happen. I can understand very well the frustration of our fans. But, in the end, we are not doing so badly.’