Sarri: Hudson-Odoi owes Chelsea but Hazard should go if he wants to
Maurizio Sarri said Eden Hazard "has to go" if he wants to leave Chelsea but called for teenage prodigy Callum Hudson-Odoi to commit his future to the club out of respect for its academy coaches.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Bournemouth, Sarri almost seemed resigned to losing Hazard but made it clear he hopes Hudson-Odoi will stay at Stamford Bridge, despite the winger having reportedly handed in a transfer request.
Hudson-Odoi has made three league appearances for the Blues this season and has scored goals in both the FA Cup and Europa League, prompting the club to take him "out of the market" according to Sarri.
When asked whether the 18-year-old owes Chelsea something, Sarri told reporters: "I think so.
"Of course, he's a very great player. He will become one of the best in Europe also in another team, but he has to respect the work of the academy coaches, I think.
'In this window he will remain with us for sure, and very probably also in the next.'— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 29, 2019
Maurizio Sarri on Callum Hudson-Odoi...
"We will be patient with him because he's a boy from the academy. I don't know if, at another club, people would be patient with him after five or six matches.
"It's very difficult to go to another country and adapt immediately or play very well immediately. That's a difficult situation. It's better for him to try and improve here. But that's my opinion. I may not be right."
Belgium international Hazard is the subject of intense speculation over a move to Real Madrid and he recently responded Sarri's criticism of his attitude by saying "it doesn't matter what the manager says".
Sarri doubled down on his assertion that Hazard was an "individual" rather than a "leader" by suggesting he at times lacks the desire to fulfil his potential.
"The situation of Eden is different," said Sarri, who rested Hazard in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday after his goal-scoring performance in the EFL Cup semi-final against Tottenham.
"Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go.
"Of course, I hope the opposite. I hope he wants to stay here with us and improve. He has the potential to be the best player in Europe at the moment. Sometimes he's happy with something less.
"It's my job to improve him and put him in a position to do his best. Sometimes I have to say something in the pressroom on that. It's normal. It's my job.
"But I was really very happy with the last performance."