Maurizio Sarri insists he is reluctant to make big changes to his Premier League XI and feels Callum Hudson-Odoi needs time to develop.
Sarri made a number of changes for Chelsea’s Europa League clash with PAOK on Thursday as he has done throughout the competition this term.
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The Blues responded from a first competitive loss under Sarri, after 18 matches unbeaten, to Tottenham last Saturday, with a fifth win from as many Europa League Group L games.
Olivier Giroud scored twice, 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi netted his first Chelsea goal and Alvaro Morata was also on target against 10-man PAOK.
The Italian suggested Hudson-Odoi benefited from the early dismissal of Yevhen Khacheridi, for a professional foul on Giroud, which provided Chelsea with more space to exploit, but is not yet ready for the rigours of the Premier League.
“If he is able in the Premier League at 18, especially in a big team, he will be the best player in Europe in two or three years,” said Sarri, who believes the forward must improve defensively.
“I think he played very well, but the type of match was for his characteristics. “They were down to 10 (men) after seven minutes. We needed only to play in the offensive phase. He’s really very able to do this. “I want to see him in a match where we need also the defensive phase.”