Callum Hudson-Odoi admitted he was shocked when England manager Gareth Southgate instructed him to get ready to come on during the 5-0 win over the Czech Republic in the European Qualifiers.
England got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to the perfect start with a thumping victory at Wembley in Group A, with Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick added to by Harry Kane’s penalty and a Tomas Kalas own goal, which came after Hudson-Odoi’s shot was saved.
Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi was a late call-up to the squad but, after impressing in training, he was handed his first senior appearance at international level as he replaced Sterling with 20 minutes remaining.
At 18 years and 135 days, Hudson-Odoi became England’s youngest debutant in competitive internationals, eclipsing Duncan Edwards’ record set in 1955. With Jadon Sancho also on the pitch, it was the first time in 138 years that England had two players aged 18 years old or younger in the side.
Hudson-Odoi told Sky Sports:
“I’m definitely delighted. I want to thank everybody for helping me get here, and to get the opportunity to play today is a massive feeling in front of the home crowd as well. Hopefully there’s many more to come.
“I couldn’t believe it (when I was told to get ready). I didn’t think it was real. I was looking around the crowd and everybody looked happy – I couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t know what to do, but I was delighted, and hopefully there’ll be many more to come.”