Paul Merson believes Callum Hudson-Odoi must improve before he can expect to start for Chelsea.
The 18-year-old came off the bench to score in the Blues’ 3-0 win over Dynamo Kiev on Thursday night – the latest in a string of fine cameo performances.
However, the England youth international, who handed in a transfer request in January amid interest from Bayern Munich, is yet to start a single Premier League match.
And former Arsenal star Merson has urged Hudson-Odoi to be patient, particularly in light of Chelsea’s two-window transfer ban.
“I wouldn’t play Hudson-Odoi at the moment. I think he’s got to be patient,” the Sky Sports pundit told talkSPORT.
“Pedro’s playing well at the moment. Pedro’s turned it around. This is the player who came from Barcelona, he’s playing that way at the moment.
“I think Willian’s a top player as well. Them three [with Eden Hazard] all sing off the same hymn sheet, they’re experienced players who have played with each other for a long time.
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“Hudson-Odoi doesn’t buy into that at the moment. He won’t play one-twos and flick balls round the corner. He’s an out-and-out winger. Give him the ball, he’ll isolated his defender and take him on.
“He needs to improve his game. The longer he’s there training with quality players, and with this appeal which has just gone down, stay at Chelsea because you’re going to get games now.”
FIFA have rejected Chelsea’s request to have their transfer ban frozen while the governing body consider their appeal – which means the club will not be able to sign players this summer.
With uncertainty surrounding the future of Eden Hazard, and Willian and Pedro both in their thirties, Hudson-Odoi could soon become a key player at Stamford Bridge, alongside the incoming Christian Pulisic.
Nonetheless, Bayern are expected to renew their interest when the transfer window reopens, after Chelsea turned down a £35million bid in January.