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  • By Paul Lagan

Azpi: Hudson-Odoi can go far

Action from Arsenal v Chelsea in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin Photo by Paul Lagan

Callum Hudson-Odoi has shown Chelsea fans that there could be life after Willian or even Eden Hazard as the youngster continues to impress following his man of the match performance against Arsenal, in Dublin on Wednesday.

Certainly skipper Cesar Azpilicueta thinks so. He said of the 17-year-old: “Callum is really young. He has shown great quality, he has played well all pre-season. Now it’s up to him to keep that level. The way he is working shows that he will be very important for the team. It is in his hands. We will try to help him.

“I made my debut at 17. He played with us a few times last season. He’s improving. That’s important - he has room to improve. He can go really far. If he keeps his head he will be very good. Every time he went one v one against Hector Bellerin, he was creating problems. He showed great defensive work too.”

Azpilicueta is confident Chelsea can change from the three at the back system of last season under Antonio Conte and make Maurizio Sarri’s four at the back a success. “It’s a different way of working,” he confirmed. “To learn and do what he wants. You saw against Arsenal what he wants and now we face Manchester City on Sunday in the Community Shield. We know they are a very good team, but we will play our game. “We will try and get the ball and play our football. Against Arsenal you could see good combinations, playing from the back, pressing high, so that’s the way we want to play against City.”

Young striker Tammy Abraham has a big decision to make about his future at Chelsea - stay and fight what is seen as a losing battle or go out again on loan. Abraham impressed when replacing ineffectual hitman Alvaro Morata.

He said: “I want to play. I’d be okay even as a number two at Chelsea this season, but I know that Sarri, from his Napoli time, does not like to change his team too much.”

Sarri confirmed Abraham could be on the bench. The Italian said: “The starting XI on Wednesday is very near to my starting XI in the Community Shield.”

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