Maurizio Sarri has sparked suggestions that Callum Hudson-Odoi will be handed his first Premier League start in midweek when Brighton travel to Stamford Bridge.
Hudson-Odoi seizing chances as they come
The Chelsea boss has come under wide criticism for failing to offer the youngster a chance to impress, particularly after impressing when given minutes in the domestic cup competitions and Europa League.
Strong performances alongside a return of five goals saw him earn a full international debut for England in Montenegro for the Euro 2020 qualifier, the latest opportunity he has seized with both hands.
Gaining rave reviews for his performance in Gareth Southgate's side, Hudson-Odoi returned to club duty as an unused substitute in Sunday's narrow win at Cardiff City, sparking further fury amongst the fanbase over Sarri's decision making.
Sarri hints at a first Premier League start
However, it appears to Chelsea manager is finally ready to hand the teenager the start he deserves.
"First of all, in pre-season after four or five training sessions, I realised that Callum was really a player with a very great potential," Sarri said.
"In my opinion, in that moment, he wasn't ready to play at this level. But during the season, he has improved. And now he's ready to play."
"I decided at the beginning of the season that he had to stay with us, and I put him in the squad. So I know very well Callum, and I want him to improve more because the potential is higher."
"And Callum is always in my mind. In my opinion, he is our future. Now he's ready to play. Probably he will start (against Brighton) or in the next match."