Hudson-Odoi has gotten praised by fans, pundits and even club manager Frank Lampard for his incredible performances in the games he got the chance to play for Chelsea so far but his last game against Ajax revealed the youngster still has a lot of work to do.
It might be a lack of experience or fright on still not being used to playing on such a big stage but most people can easily decide it is the former.
Comparing his Chelsea performances from past games with the one from the night against Ajax showed he wasn’t at his absolute best. He simply did not show off the form that has made fans shower him with praises in the past weeks.
To start with, his passes were not as impressive as they were in other games. He only had 76% of the passes attempted. Also, he is known for his great dribbling skills, averaging 3.3 dribbles per game in the Europa League last season but against Ajax, he only attempted to beat his man twice, succeeding only once.
That’s not all. His shots were nothing to write home about as both shots he attempted were off target. He did managed to create three chances and landed 57.1% of his crosses but that doesn’t change the fact that he wasted considerable opportunities to find a man in a dangerous position where it could have mattered.
It might be easy to criticize him for the poor performance but it is also worthy of note that he is just 18 years old and hasn’t had a chance to play on so many big stages like the Champions League. That out of the way, we should also have it in mind that he is worth £120,000 a week and will have to show his money worth.
He started off with a great performance that has set the bar high and made people’s expectations high for him. This might make it hard for people to accept that he still does not have enough experience and has to learn on the job. He has just started 27 matches for Chelsea and although there are a lot of rooms for improvement, we have to give him the chance for it.
As much of a fine player he has shown himself to be, his decision making is still not close to excellent and this will prove to be a fantastic lesson for him against quality opposition, and it will only increase the speed of his development.
Maybe he hasn’t played against enough quality side opposition to show the flaws in his style of play or maybe he just had one bad night is what time will tell but we have seen him on his good days and one thing everyone can agree on is that there is enough room for improvement. His inexperience apart, the youngster can continue at his pace and keep developing his skills to end up being a world-class player.