CHELSEA boss Maurizio Sarri has issued a warning to Callum Hudson-Odoi ahead of their Europa League clash with Dynamo Kyiv and reckons the media are to blame for his lack of minutes having put too much pressure on the young English player.
Chelsea are preparing to take on Dynamo Kyiv at Stamford Bridge tonight in a clash that could shape their season.
With the Blues battling Manchester United and Arsenal for a place in the top four, the most viable route to the Champions League could be winning the Europa League.
Sarri’s side are sixth in the Premier League but do have a game in hand.
Nevertheless, United’s resurgence in form has made them favourites to clinch the final spot – making Europe even more precious for Sarri, who is still under pressure following a turbulent February.
Chelsea fans are desperate to see their youngsters prevail in the first team, with Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu leading the way.
But their appearances have not been to the supporters’ standards, who at least expect to see Hudson-Odoi more ahead of Willian and Pedro.
The Englishman has been desperate for more minutes on the pitch and even tried to force a move to Bayern Munich in January.
However, Sarri has since rebuffed the 18-year-old and has since issued another warning ahead of tonight’s match.
Asked if the winger will play, he said: “Callum is always in my mind in every match. I don’t know if tomorrow he will be on the pitch or not.
“I think also that you have to put less pressure on the young English player because they need to improve. I have never see a player of 18 at the top.
“So Callum, as all the other young players in England, needs to improve in this moment.
“It’s very important for him to improve and then he will be able to be at the top when he’s 22 or 23, without pressure at the moment.
“I think you [the media] put too much pressure on the young English player.”
Meanwhile, the Italian manager has come under intensive scrutiny in recent weeks but insists he is not worried about the sack.
“It’s not important if I’m here next season. Right now what is important are only the results,” Sarri added.
“Right now, only the Europa League is important. Dynamo Kiev is everything.
“I am confident. Otherwise I would not be able to do my work.”