Callum Hudson-Odoi marked his return to the Chelsea side with a goal in their 4-0 Champions League win away at Krasnodar on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old was handed his first Blues start since a similar 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on October 3, with Frank Lampard dropping him to the bench in recent outings against Southampton, Sevilla and Manchester United.
And eight minutes before half-time he opened the scoring for Lampard’s men out in Russia, albeit thanks to some poor goalkeeping from Krasnodar shot-stopper Matvei Safonov.
When Kai Havertz picked him out in the box, Hudson-Odoi took one touch out of his feet and pulled the trigger, with the ball slipping through Safonov’s hands and into the back of the net.
While it wasn’t exactly a Goal of the Season contender, the teenage winger produced an impressive performance for Chelsea and will have undoubtedly pleased Lampard.
But with Christian Pulisic fit and firing again, and new signing Hakim Ziyech also up and running after recovering from a knee injury, how can he squeeze into the Blues side?
Lampard may have set Chelsea up in a 3-4-3 away at Manchester United last weekend, yet his preferred formation this season appears to be a 4-2-3-1.
In that system, Hudson-Odoi is competing with Pulisic, Ziyech, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz for a place in the Blues’ three-man attacking midfield.
Both Mount and Havertz operate primarily in the centre, meaning it should be a choice between Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech and Pulisic in the two wide positions.
However, Lampard is also prepared to fit Mount into his XI out wide, while Timo Werner has sometimes been deployed on the left flank to accommodate Tammy Abraham up top.
The German forward appears much more comfortable at the pinpoint of an attack, nevertheless, while Mount is by no means a natural winger.
As a result, Werner is likely to remain upfront when Chelsea go away to Burnley this weekend, with Havertz and Mount battling it out for the No.10 slot behind him.
After only playing 20 minutes against Krasnodar on Wednesday night, Pulisic is a banker to take up the left flank at Turf Moor – meaning Hudson-Odoi and Ziyech will compete to play on the right.
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The latter only made his first Blues start in Russia after recovering from injury, so Lampard may feel the need to protect him with another two games to come over the next week.
Doing so would give Hudson-Odoi another chance to impress against the Clarets, against whom he scored his first Premier League goal last season.
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