FRANK LAMPARD has confirmed that Callum Hudson-Odoi is in contention to make his Chelsea first-team return in their Champions League opener against Valencia.
The winger, who has been back in training for almost three weeks, has been tipped to start when the Blues host Grimsby in the Carabao Cup the following week.
But Lampard confirmed he is ready to call on Hudson-Odoi for his maiden European match as a manager should he put down a marker in training.
Speaking after Saturday’s 5-2 victory at Wolves, Lamps said: “I spoke with him this morning. He’s not far off.
“We have to be careful because it was a big injury and what we’ve done is actually got him back out on time but we have to make sure the strength is right in the area, because that could lead to other injuries if we go too soon.
“The way he played (on Friday), I think he’s not far away. He’s been training with us now for two or three weeks.
“We’ve got the Carabao Cup coming the midweek next and that will maybe be an opportunity to look at players who have been injured or different options.
“In between, if players, if Callum, shows this week how good he is in training I’ll have to consider him probably from now on.”
SunSport exclusively revealed that Hudson-Odoi is set to seal his £100,000-a-week, five-year deal at Chelsea after returning from injury.
The teenager had been a target for German champions Bayern Munich for much of last season, prior to suffering a season-ending Achilles problem.
Hudson-Odoi will be hoping to further Chelsea’s academy success this season under Lampard, with all 11 of the Blues league goals coming under the club’s homegrown stars including Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, and Fikayo Tomori.