The Italian’s lukewarm reaction to his charge’s first Three Lions outing drew sharp criticism ahead of Sunday’s clash against Cardiff
Jamie Carragher has reacted angrily to Maurizio Sarri’s off-hand analysis of Callum Hudson-Odoi’s international debut, claiming that the Chelsea boss should show more interest in his young star.
Hudson-Odoi, 18, picked up his first England cap over the international break off the bench against the Czech Republic, making his maiden start three days later against Montenegro.
The Three Lions won both of their games to make a perfect to start to the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, but Sarri was underwhelmed by the teenager’s bow.
“I saw the English national team for 20 minutes and Callum didn’t start very well on the right,” the Italian told reporters when prompted to comment.
“He did very on the left, immediately in his first action. But I know very well he prefers to play on the left.”
Sarri’s thoughts did not sit well with former England and Liverpool star Carragher, who believes that he should have been watching every minute of Hudson-Odoi’s debut.
“This is a lad who’s making his international debut. Why are you not watching the full game?” Carragher fired to Sky Sports.
“You could argue he’s watching a lot of his Chelsea team-mates, flicking the channels, but he doesn’t need to watch them, they are all 27, 28, 29.
“This is a young kid. Can he handle the spotlight of playing for England? This is a lad I’m trying to keep at my club.”
Hudson-Odoi’s future at Stamford Bridge is by no means assured, with his contract up at the end of next season and little progress made on an extension.
The Blues had to fight off fierce interest from Bayern Munich in the January transfer window – and according to Carragher, this kind of treatment will not make the youngster feel valued.
“To then just dismiss this lad’s international debut – maybe the biggest thing that’s ever happened to him as a footballer – I can just imagine the people above Sarri just shaking their head and thinking ‘why are you saying such a stupid thing in the press conference?” he added.
“We are trying to get this lad to sign a contract.”
Hudson-Odoi has made 19 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season, scoring four goals.
The teenager was back on the bench though for the first game after the international break, as Chelsea visited Cardiff City in south Wales.
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