Callum Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea, Clubs, English FA Cup, Story

Eden Hazard reacts to how Chelsea have closed the gap to Spurs in recent weeks, and rates the Blues’ chances of finishing in the top four.

LONDON — Chelsea under-18s coach Jody Morris said academy star Callum Hudson-Odoi is not the finished article after the forward inspired his side to a fifth consecutive FA Youth Cup triumph on Monday.

Hudson-Odoi scored two and created another as Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium to win 7-1 on aggregate, extending a dominance in the competition that matches the record set by Manchester United’s Busby Babes in the 1950s.

Many Chelsea supporters want Hudson-Odoi to feature more regularly for the first team, with Antonio Conte having used the 17-year-old as a substitute twice in the Premier League and twice in the FA Cup.

But Morris said: “He’s still got a lot to do. He’ll get a lot of plaudits because he showed in glimpses that he’s got real, real quality, but he also showed in other glimpses that he needs to mature, to follow instructions.

“He’s got a lot to learn — so have the other players — but he’s certainly got a chance if he keeps his feet on the ground and matures properly, because there’s a young kid there that has got a fantastic amount of talent.

“No one wants to see him succeed more than me. I love what I see him do with a football at times, but you also want to shake him at times.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi during Chelsea's FA Youth Cup final first leg match against Arsenal.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has appeared as a substitute for the Chelsea first team.

Chelsea have loaned out many of their academy prospects in recent years, but Morris said no such decision had yet been made on England U17 World Cup winner Hudson-Odoi or any other player in his team.

“I think we need to see what the manager thinks come the summer,” he added. “He’s been around the first team a lot now, so I don’t think it’s just one person who makes that decision.

“You also need to see how things develop, even from such a small space of time like to the end of preseason.

“Sometimes you think it’s probably not the best thing for them to go on loan at the minute, but there are also others who come to the front of the queue and you think: ‘Do you know what? A loan is exactly what this person needs.’

“There are players in that group who are certainly capable of playing men’s football. A lot of them played in the Checkatrade [Trophy] this year for Joe Edwards and Andy Myers, and they performed really well against men.

“There are also some [for whom] it’s maybe a little early in their career.”

Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.

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