MAURIZIO SARRI was ordered to play Callum Hudson-Odoi, according to a Chelsea insider.
The 18-year-old struggled to break into the first-team while the Italian was in charge at Stamford Bridge last season.
Sarri refused to give in to pressure from fans to start the England starlet despite his impressive spell of form.
But it has now been revealed that he was made to name Hudson-Odoi in his starting XI by Chelsea chiefs.
Piet de Visser, who is an adviser to Roman Abramovich, told De Volksrant: “I enjoy young players.
“Lampard gives six or seven boys of the academy opportunities. That is the future.
“Hudson-Odoi, he didn’t want to sign.
“I told Chelsea: ‘Never lose Hudson-Odoi, he will be the new [Eden] Hazard.’
“But Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea chief executive] said: ‘He didn’t want to sign’.
“And you know why not? Because Sarri didn’t play him.
“Then Sarri was instructed to deploy him, and he was their best player. And he signed for four years.”
Hudson-Odoi penned a new five-year deal with the club following the appointment of Frank Lampard.
He has made three appearances for the Blues in the Premier League this season following his return from an Achilles injury.
And Lampard has admitted he is contention to start the Champions League clash against Ajax.
When asked if the 18-year-old is ready, the manager said: “I think he is but so are other players and with that comes my problem of selection for games as I have a competitive squad.
Some are fresh to the Champions League and some have been here before, but just isolating Callum, his performance against Newcastle was huge signs of what we want to see.”