Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Callum Hudson-Odoi can become the “absolute best” if he follows the example set by Raheem Sterling and is prepared to take advice on board.
Hudson-Odoi made his first start for the Blues since April during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie with Grimsby after recovering from a serious Achilles injury.
And the 18-year-old, who recently signed a new five-year contract at Stamford Bridge, made a promising return as he played the full 90 minutes and found the net during the 7-1 win.
However, Lampard says that England international still has a long way to go before he reaches his full potential and has encouraged him to use Manchester City star Sterling as a role model.
“I know Callum’s talent and he’s got huge talent, hence why the club was so keen to get him signed up and we’re all delighted with that,” said Lampard.
“But there is a lot of work to do.
“Raheem Sterling is an incredible example of a player with great talent whose work ethic added to that talent, and an improvement in a short period of time through absolute dedication to a complete player that we are all wowed by.
“(That) is exactly the great model for Callum because he has those talents. And I want him to be the best, the absolute best, because he has the potential to do that.
“And some of that is some hard truths and I saw some hard truths out of the game the other day in ways that he can improve.
“He needs to listen to them, and he will, and then he can be that player for us, which is great news for everybody.”
Hudson-Odoi is expected to feature in the Premier League for the first time this season when Chelsea host Brighton on Saturday, but Lampard admitted he will be cautious with the teenager after his five months on the sidelines.
“I will be careful with Callum, considering the type of injury he had,” said Lampard.
“That’s not to say he can’t play a major part in tomorrow’s game or a slightly lesser one.
“I will have to see on its merits with a bit of Callum’s personal injury situation in my mind as well.”