18 Mar 19
Callum Hudson-Odoi has been called up to England’s senior squad despite having never playing for the Under-21s side.
The Chelsea youngster, 18, comes in for Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw, who has withdrawn from the squad due to injury.
Hudson-Odoi has struggled for game time this season
The winger has struggled for game time under Maurizio Sarri, playing just 119 minutes of Premier League football.
However, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has clearly seen enough just a week after Hudson-Odoi received his first call-up to England’s Under-21 squad.
He joins young forwards Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling for England’s upcoming qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro.
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Hudson-Odoi, who was part of England’s Under-17 World Cup triumph in 2017, spoke of his delight to being called up to the senior side.
“It’s been a crazy day but getting my first (senior) international call-up is an amazing feeling,” he said.
“Today has been a very long day for me because I had to travel to Bristol first for the U21s and then getting told that I have to come over here to St George’s Park, it’s been a crazy experience but I’m delighted to get the call and it’s a nice feeling to be here as well.
“I thought the manager (Aidy Boothroyd) was joking. I was shocked and then when I heard that I actually had to go over, I couldn’t believe it. I was delighted.
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“It’s a dream come true. Now I’ve got to work hard, enjoy every moment and keep working to just hopefully make an impact when I get the opportunity.
“Everybody here is very humble and they’re very nice. They make sure you’re comfortable, no one has an ego here so hopefully I get to know more of the boys here.”
Hudson-Odoi had already been in the news on Monday after Chelsea confirmed they had lodged a formal complaint with UEFA over racist abuse aimed at the player during the closing stages of the 5-0 Europa League win away to Dynamo Kiev last week.
The 18-year-old scored in the Ukrainian capital and will become the youngest Chelsea player in history to play for England if he makes his debut this month.
Elsewhere, Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse was summoned to St George’s Park by Southgate after John Stones, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all pulled out with injuries.
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Delph was replaced less than an hour into Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final win at Swansea, which team-mate Stones missed with a groin injury.
Loftus-Cheek came on as a second-half substitute as Chelsea lost to Everton on Sunday and has now been replaced by former Young Lions team-mate Ward-Prowse.
The 24-year-old has flourished under Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, who has helped add aggression and goals to the midfielder’s game.
Ward-Prowse has scored six goals since the turn of the year, including stunning free-kicks in Southampton’s last two matches, and was in such impressive form that Southgate was quizzed about why he had overlooked him last week.
“We love Prowsey,” the Three Lions boss said. “I’ve been accused of being a father of Prowsey over the years!
“This most recent spell is his best spell since we capped him before. He is, I would say, a world-class deliverer of set-plays.
“But he’s only recently got back into the team at Southampton. I think we’ve got some (good) midfield players and it isn’t a straightforward selection.”