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Maurizio Sarri says Kepa incident impacted Champions League ambitions

09 March 2019

Maurizio Sarri said Callum Hudson-Odoi does not need to convince him to get more opportunities for Chelsea, but warned against putting too much pressure on the 18-year-old to start in his team.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has explained his reluctance to play Ruben Loftus-Cheek, insisting the midfielder's recent back problem means he is not fit enough to play a full game. You can lose (sight of) the target.

"When you are 18, the target is to improve, mentally, tactically and physically".

"So, it's risky for him".

There is clearly a thirst from Blues' fans to see their young prospect play more football, after all they've barely seen an academy player break through to become a first team regular since John Terry, and during a time when their form hasn't been great.

"Now I think we need to improve without the pressure of the media, without the pressure of the fans, without the pressure of the club. I don't like to speak about him for this reason".

Hudson-Odoi handed in a transfer request in January amid offers from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Christensen got a rare start in defence alongside David Luiz in the Europa League but Antonio Rudiger will return back to the first XI vs Wolves this weekend. "He needs to improve until he's 22 or 23", Sarri told a news conference.

But with a place in the competition available for the victor of the Europa League as well, boss Maurizio Sarri has another option available to him should they fail in the Premier League. "I think in England he is the only player born in 2000 with 16 matches at the top level".

In the attack, Callum Hudson-Odoi could start on the right wing with Willian on the left while Olivier Giroud should lead the line. We had a long period of good results in the past and then, suddenly, two weeks of disaster.

Chelsea FC are in sixth place in the Premier League table but have played one game less than Manchester United and Arsenal.

Maurizio Sarri says Kepa incident impacted Champions League ambitions