Frank Lampard has confirmed Callum Hudson-Odoi will feature against Barnsley and has called on the winger to take his opportunity and flourish.
The England international came off the bench against Brighton in the opening game but was an unused substitute against Liverpool at the weekend, leading to some sections of the media to ask Frank Lampard what his plans are for Hudson-Odoi and whether he might be considered for a loan.
Our head coach was quick to point out Hudson-Odoi has important attributes but also called on the winger to grasp his opportunity in the Carabao Cup and give him a selection headache for the weekend trip to West Brom.
‘We played Timo Werner out wide the other day, but the absolute natural winger who is fit at the minute is Callum.
‘We know that in a Premier League squad with the number of games we’re going to play, we need competition in those areas, back-ups in those areas and players competing to make that position their own.
‘That’s where Callum is at and that’s why I keep saying he needs to train. He needs to show in training every day and when he gets his opportunity in games, which he will have in this game because he will play against Barnsley.
‘He has to show in every minute, on and off the ball, what he can do for the team and at the minute, that’s the position Callum is at. He’s had an early breakthrough in his career because of his talent, he’s had an injury and now I want to see him flourish again.’
Lampard has not ruled out departures in the coming weeks as he looks to create the right balance of squad to compete in his second season as Chelsea head coach. There are decisions to be made by the boss, the club and by players with the transfer window shutting on 5 October.
‘I have an idea of what I want. I want to make the squad have healthy competition but not to have so many players not competing regularly, feeling like they are out of the squad and not getting the minutes they want.
‘These are conversations I will have going forward. It does not mean we are forced in any positions to move players on but conversations will be ongoing in the next couple of weeks.
‘My priority will always be making sure I maintain and keep the strongest squad I can at this club.
‘After that the individual questions and conversation will happen within that and I will try to make sure I go into the season once the window is shut with the squad that I feel is competitive in a healthy way.'