Frank Lampard Discusses Role of Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that Callum Hudson-Odoi will indeed feature in tomorrow’s UEFA Champions League group stage game at Sevilla. Lampard also got himself into a larger discussion on the greater development and role of the young forward at the club during his prematch online media session today.

Lampard pointed out how difficult it was for him to leave Hudson-Odoi out of the goalless draw with Tottenham on Sunday while adding that it’s likely he’ll have to disappoint CHO again in the future, given the depth of the Blues squad in the final third.

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Sevilla vs Chelsea FC Champions League Group E FYIs

Kickoff: Wed Dec 2, 8pm BST, Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán

Chelsea team news: go to this link

Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

TV: BT Sport 3 (UK)

Streaming in USA: CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)

Odds: Chelsea win 13/8, Draw 5/2, Sevilla 15/8 win

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“In my squad I have to leave out four or five players per game,” Lampard said, referring to the plethora of forwards on the roster.

“If I speak about all the permutations of all of them and considered the risk of it then I wouldn’t be able to make a decision or do the job.

“I am aware of Callum and where he is at. He took it very well (missing Tottenham) and it is not an easy conversation to have because all players want to play, I expect that.”

“He will get his opportunities. He will get minutes tomorrow.”

Lampard is completely correct, it is not in the interests of him, his players, or his team to give away the store when it comes to depth charts and lineups. He then discussed the role of Hudson-Odoi at the club.

“It is up to him to show when he plays that he deserves to start because there is competition in that area. That’s the reality of playing for Chelsea. I am not worried about the noise around it or the permutations of what not being in the squad will be down the line.

“It was difficult to leave him out against Tottenham. I did speak to him personally. I want him to understand where he’s at at the minute, which is that he’s getting better.

“There will be times when other players will have to sit out, and that conversation will have to be with others players.”

“I have to be straight and honest with the players to try and keep them positive and working in the right direction. Hopefully with Callum I have got that. His reaction was great and in training today has been great and it will show when he plays.”

The player has drawn interest from Bayern Munich, among others, in the transfer market and the more he gets left out of matchday squads, the more his name will show up on the back pages.

“I’ve spoken about Callum at different times since I’ve been in the job, and his training and attitude at the minute is bang-on, his work ethic in training has been great,” said Lampard.

“And that’s reflected in scoring against Rennes, coming on and doing well against Newcastle, and I thought he was bright when he went away with the England Under-21s.”

The young English forward was on a very fast trajectory, developing rapidly, until a torn Achilles tendon inhibited his progress.

“Callum’s early career, he got into the team with a lot of talk around him in the year before I came,” Lampard continued.

“Then he got a really bad injury and a big part of last season, even this season, he was feeling the injury a little bit.”

“He is still a young man so unfortunately for him, I have to see the bigger picture. It is unfortunate he is not always part of the squad but there are hundreds of games ahead of him and progressions to make.

“In the short term, he might not like it but then I have to look at who else I take out of the squad. Another day it might be someone else so there is part of my job and I said it at the start of the season to the players.”

Lampard closed by saying his squad’s depth is an asset, not a liability:

“Most of the big teams in the Premier League have big squads. It has to be seen as a strength not a weakness.”

Prediction: Chelsea 2, Sevilla 1

In the reverse fixture, we saw a tedious, yawn-inducing scoreless draw. That most likely won’t happen again.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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