Callum Hudson-Odoi's full debut in England brought joy to Gareth Southgate – and hopefully a bit embarrassing for Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.
Southgate showed more confidence in the 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi in 10 days than Sarri showed throughout the season at Stamford Bridge, an instant elevation from the under-21 team of England followed by a debut as a substitute against the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday then a first start in Montenegro.
The teenager's career is played back at the front due to Sarri's reluctance to incorporate the gifted striker into his tactical framework at Chelsea.
And on the evidence of his performance in the field in the 5-1 victory in Montenegro and of his strong, mature and measured response after the game, questioned about the scandalous racist insults suffered by the English players, is an all-round class act and it will be for the years to come.
He is getting his chance, the show of faith in his talent, from England. This is a young man with two English caps at his name, before he started the Premier League for Chelsea – a net statuary that doesn't reflect well on Sarri.
Chelsea fans have become increasingly disconcerted by the continued marginalization of Hudson-Odoi and the temperature on those feelings will have been raised by several notches from the maturity of his performance here in the Podgorica greenhouse, where natural passion has turned into shameful episodes of racist chants aimed at English players.
Hudson-Odoi was not only one of the leading performers in England, aided by Southgate's success in moving from right to left, he showed character beyond his years in this unpleasant and unpleasant atmosphere.
It was composed among the acrimony of the terraces, collecting an object thrown from the crowd the day after Raheem Sterling's goal before resuming business ensuring the England to register a & # 39; another dominant victory after the 5-0 layoff of the Czech Republc at Wembley.
The wing is seriously considering following the path of England teammate Jadon Sancho for the Bundesliga. Sancho, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Tuesday, has been a great success since leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund.
He released a pass to the English team for Sancho and now Bayern Munich is willing to pay well over £ 30m to take Hudson-Odoi, whose contract expires at the end of next season.
Hudson-Odoi proved to have the temperament and talent for England and yet still seems to have to prove himself. It is a situation that offers a clearer view of the Italian manager than Hudson-Odoi.
It would be a grave negligence on the part of Chelsea to let go of a young player of this promise and it could also be that Sarri's departure will be the best chance to keep him.
Hudson-Odoi will be coveted by many clubs and if not evaluated by his manager, he clearly has the strength of character and the conviction to seize his chances elsewhere.
He made a difficult start in Podgorica, occasionally ran into dead ends and showed a weakness in an air challenge in Marko Vesovic's opening Montenegro build-up.
Southgate acted with that switch on the side and suddenly Hudson-Odoi was released. He cut in and his shot on goal was shot by Ross Barkley, then a magical slalom race in the second half brought a nice low shot from Montenegro goalkeeper Danijel Petkovic.
His performance was full of threats, ironically proving to be exactly the kind of player that one side of Chelsea that sometimes lacks threat requires.
If Chelsea wants to prove they are a club where young talents can make a career, then Hudson-Odoi should be their poster-boy, not the one who managed to escape.
Southgate has embraced him in England and, apart from unforeseen circumstances, he is there to stay, part of an emerging young group that is bringing verve and enthusiasm to the national side.
"It was a fabulous performance," said his manager. "He showed what we saw all week, his application was excellent."
The pressure on Sarri to play Hudson-Odoi will only increase when he performs as he did for England and the elite desire for adolescent action will only be sharpened by his international experiences.
The only advantage of Chelsea, if they fail to persuade him to stay, will be that his price will increase as he gets the broader exposure.
The Stamford Bridge club must make it a top priority to make sure it doesn't happen. Sarri must come to his senses and follow the Southgate model, stop holding this indomitable talent.
If Hudson-Odoi feels underutilized and undervalued (though not for Chelsea fans), there is no danger that he will suffer a similar disappointment for Southgate's England.