Frank Lampard praised Callum Hudson-Odoi after Chelsea’s win at Fulham and admitted leaving him out of the starting line-up was a tough decision.
Hudson-Odoi was among the substitutes despite his recent good form, with boss Lampard opting to start with Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic.
The England international was excellent after coming off the bench at Craven Cottage, where Mason Mount’s goal gave the Blues a 1-0 victory.
Lampard said: “It was difficult. Callum’s form recently has been a real uplift.
“He’s going by people and showing confidence. A lot of it is down to the injury he had to recover from last season.
“But Hakim obviously gives us something different – he was outstanding in the period he was fit, which was the period of us having a very good run. And Christian is always a big threat for us.
“When I have the three wingers fit there’s one that can’t start the game. They must then come on and impact the game.”
Lampard added that his team selection was made partly with next week’s s trip to Leicester in mind.
He indicated that Hudson-Odoi might well start against the Foxes on Tuesday evening.
“I had Leicester in mind. We’ll have to see how the players react over the next day or two,” Lampard said.
“In this busy period players will sometimes have to accept coming on for an impact and sometimes coming in and starting.
“With Callum, I’m delighted with how he’s playing at the minute. He’s a great example of someone that’s approaching it all in the right way.
“He’ll get many, many minutes for us.”