West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has outlined what Chelsea attacker Callum Hudson-Odoi needs to do in order to succeed in his his career.
The former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss has been in charge of some of the world’s top talents over his career, including stars such as Juan Roman Riquelme, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Aguero, and knows what sets the world’s best talents apart.
While Hudson-Odoi still has a long way to reach that level, Pellegrini believes the Chelsea man’s fledgling career shows signs a lot of promise.
“I think [he is a] very good player. He’s just starting his career," Pellegrini said ahead of bringing his West Ham side to Stamford Bridge on Monday.
"I always say about those young players starting that it’s not so difficult to arrive, a lot of good players with technical conditions arrive to play in the first team.
“But after that you must keep it. At the beginning any little good thing a young player does, people will say how good they are, but after that they will demand more.
“The second step for a young player will demonstrate the divide, which will be top players and which will not.
“I think that he has all the condition to be a top player. So it will depend on the mentality and ambition where he can arrive.”
One player who Pellegrini believes has reached the top of his game is Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante.
“Kante, yes, I think he is a top player," the Chilean said.
"When he was at Leicester, he demonstrated the way he can play. He has grown because he came to a more difficult team. He continued to demonstrate what a big player he is
“All the good players in that position, I think Declan and every other player, must see him and the ways in which they can improve.”
The London derby on Monday is an important match for both sides. The hosts could move as high as third with a win, while three points for West Ham could see Pellegrini’s men leap to tenth in the table and close the gap to seventh-placed Leicester City.