Gary Neville has hit out at Premier League side Chelsea over their treatment of winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The England international remained at Stamford Bridge in January despite submitting a transfer request amid rejected bids from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
Hudson-Odoi only made his first Premier League start for the Blues last month amid outcries from supporters towards Maurizio Sarri to give him more minutes.
Now, former Manchester United man Neville has warned that there will be outrage from Chelsea supporters if the 18-year-old was allowed to leave without being given a fair opportunity.
“He’s a huge talent. It’s got to the point now that it’s one big problem,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Chelsea have had such successful youth teams, carried some of the best young talents – not just from England but also from Europe as well and internationally – and not given them an opportunity in the first team.
“I think there would be uproar if Hudson-Odoi was allowed to leave Chelsea without a chance.
“All the talk of Eden Hazard leaving to go to Real Madrid…this feels like a sort of crossroads moment for Chelsea in terms of their belief in a young player, to give him the opportunity.
“Chelsea have failed so many times over the last five or six years to give young players their opportunity. They’ve offloaded those players and they’ve gone on to thrive elsewhere. This is the moment for them to believe in their own.
“He’s started 14 matches this season for Chelsea – that is appalling. A player with his ability needs to develop further and he needs more games in the bank to build up his resilience, robustness and learning.”
Neville went on to urge Hudson-Odoi to end talk over his future by committing to Chelsea in the form of a new deal.
However, Neville also believes any new contract should contain clauses to ensure the youngster gets the regular game time he needs to ensure his progress isn’t stunted.
“What I would say is, though, is having a distraction like a contract hanging over you for 18 months in your most formative years, the years in which you’re growing the most, learning the most. People eventually think you’re a money-grabber, fans start to turn. Does he really want that in his life as well?
“I look at both sides of it and I think is there a way for him to sign a contract with Chelsea, his boyhood club, in a way in which potentially gives Chelsea the security they want and the player the stability that he needs to develop his career.
“He should be playing in the first team. He should be playing more games.
“But let’s say Chelsea don’t play him next season or only play him ten matches. He [could] have a clause in there that says if you don’t play him more than a certain amount of matches that he’s then allowed to leave for five million, ten million, something like that.
“That’ll incentivise the club to play him but gives them stability. I think when young players have distractions in their head about contracts and money it’s not great for them. Their agents are into them, the clubs are in to them. Just play football. Learn every day about football and don’t think about contracts and money.”