Former England striker Darren Bent has tipped Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euro 2020 finals in June.
While the Three Lions’ qualification is yet to be confirmed, the team took a giant step towards the pan-European tournament with a crushing 6-0 victory over Bulgaria.
In the meantime, Hudson-Odoi – only recently back from a long-term Achilles problem – scored twice for England’s Under-21s as they dispatched Austria by five goals to one in the qualifying campaign for the U21 equivalent, which takes place in 2021.
With two senior international caps already to his name, Bent feels that the 18-year-old is ready to make the step up in time to be selected for the squad this summer.
He told TalkSPORT: “He wasn’t getting enough game time in the Premier League, even though he was outstanding in the Europa [League] last season.
“If he’s fully fit, he’s got to be on that plane to the [European] Championships next summer because he’s got a large amount of time now to get back to full fitness.
“He’s one of these rare players in this country we’ve got who can go past people at speed.
“For me, once he’s back fully fit, that is going to be a big, big boost to Chelsea Football Club and England as well.”
There can be little doubting Hudson-Odoi’s promise – with German giants Bayern Munich trying multiple times to capture the teenager’s signature with bids of as much as £35m in January, as well as in the recent transfer window.
Bent rightly praises his performances in the Europa League – with Hudson-Odoi showing his goalscoring abilities (four goals from four starts) and his dribbling qualities (an average of 3.3 successful dribbles per game, as per WhoScored) in the competition last season.
That he has managed to grab a couple of England caps suggests that he is firmly on Southgate’s radar ahead of the Euros, though as Bent went on to state that the youngster will face competition for his place on the plane, his inclusion in a prospective travelling squad may well depend on the months to come.
And given he has either assisted (three times) or scored (once) in each of his first-team appearances for Chelsea this season upon his return from injury, the initial signs are that the youngster is doing all he can to earn his country’s call in the summer.
Is Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea's best youngster?
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