FRANK LAMPARD couldn’t have been more accurate in his assessment that Raheem Sterling should be the perfect role model for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The Chelsea boss told the 18-year-old to look to England star Sterling for an example of how to become the complete player through diligence and dedication.
The Manchester City winger bagged another hat-trick on Tuesday to become just one of eight English players to claim a Champions League match-ball.
It adds to another standout season for Sterling, who has already netted 11 in 12 for Pep Guardiola’s side, as he bids to rival Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or.
But it wasn’t long ago that the ex-Liverpool star faced many critics for his lack of conviction in front of goal as he burst onto the scene in the Premier League.
Hudson-Odoi revealed Sterling regularly provides him with advice via WhatsApp messages and tonight’s lesson has to be about composure.
The winger proved in parts why he was the youngest player to start a Champions League match for the Blues since 2010 with flashes of brilliance.
In a lot of comparisons to a pre-Guardiola Sterling, Hudson-Odoi proved against Ajax how good his movement was and he constantly looked a threat on the ball.
What will frustrate his manager was his end-product.
Hudson-Odoi frequently had the better of Segino Dest in the first half, but he struggled to play the killer pass to give the visitors the lead.
But he always looking for the ball and was the man that looked most likely to make things happen on the counter.
What was more disappointing was that his wasted chances seemed to weigh on his mind throughout the second half.
Hudson-Odoi was less direct and began to feature on the peripheries to the point that he could be considered fortunate not to have been hooked for Christian Pulisic.
Thankfully, it needn’t of mattered as a late goal from Michy Batshuayi ensured Chelsea grabbed a hard-fought win over Ajax minutes before Hudson-Odoi made way for Reece James.
Given his, and a lot of his teammate’s relative inexperience at the European level, the Blues could be considered dark horses in the competition if it all begins to click on the training ground.
After that Hudson-Odoi will be the first to be given the plaudits for all the Sterling work he would have put in off the pitch…