Rio Ferdinand has compared Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi with Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho after the former’s performance versus Malmo.
The Blues won 1-0 in Sweden, with Hudson-Odoi putting the ball on a plate for Hakim Ziyech to tap in during the second-half, with the Champions League holders taking one step closer to qualifying to the knockout stages with another three points.
Hudson-Odoi has been consistently involved under Thomas Tuchel since Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku both suffered injuries in the home fixture against Malmo last month and the English winger has impressed in the process.
Ferdinand, when speaking on BT Sport after the 1-0 win in Sweden, praised Hudson-Odoi for his display and also made a comparison with Sancho – who signed for Manchester United in the summer transfer window for £73million.
“[It’s a] tantalising ball [for Ziyech’s goal], beautiful,” Ferdinand said about Hudson-Odoi’s assist.
“That’s what you want from your winger and that’s what you’ve been waiting for and want to see on a consistent basis form Callum.
“We’ve heard about Callum since he came through the academy. Talking about who’s the better player, him or Sancho etc.
“He hasn’t lit it up like someone like Sancho, but if he does that the hype will be real. You’ve got to give him the benefit of doubt with the injuries too.”
Former Chelsea winger Joe Cole agreed with Ferdinand about Hudson-Odoi but insisted there is “still more to come” from the 20-year-old.
Cole said: “Rio’s right, he’s achieved a lot of already and we’ve heard about him for a while now. There’s still more to come and improve.
“He’s added more to his game under Tuchel and can play right wing-back, inside the right and left, He’s a valuable player to Chelsea. But, I still think there’s levels to go up from him.”
Hudson-Odoi was linked with a move away from Chelsea over the summer transfer window, with the winger not getting as much game time as he would have wanted last season, and Tuchel has recently admitted he still thinks he can make “huge progress” at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea boss said: “Listen, it was not that we wanted to have him out and suddenly he stayed. We didn’t let him leave. We built our squad and Callum was a piece in that puzzle.
“He thought maybe it was a tough one to get minutes, it may be easier in another club. You can never be sure it’s like this.
“I told him straight when he asked for it that it was not possible, that we rely on him and he accepts his role. There is still huge progress he can make within this group and within this club.
“Was it always fair to let him play as a wing-back? No, maybe not. He had to take this for the team and he did. He was always positive. He showed the right spirit.”