Thomas Tuchel has told Callum Hudson-Odoi that only by pushing himself to the absolute limit in every training session and game will he realise his vast potential at Chelsea.
During his time in the Blues academy, Hudson-Odoi was viewed as a star of the future. He dominated fixtures at youth level and made his senior Chelsea debut at just 17 years old.
The 2018/19 campaign was a breakout one for Hudson-Odoi. He forced his way into Maurizio Sarri’s side and attracted serious interest from Bayern Munich. The winger made 24 appearances for the Blues before his season was ended early due to an Achilles injury.
Hudson-Odoi spent several months on the sidelines but Chelsea, who then had Frank Lampard in charge, managed to convince the young star to sign a new five-year deal. He would go on to play 33 games last term but struggled to nail down a starting spot and rediscover his best form.
That remained the case this season, at least until Tuchel replaced Lampard at the end of January. The German’s arrival resulted in Hudson-Odoi being catapulted into the Chelsea side.
He featured in 13 of Tuchel’s opening 14 matches in charge, predominately as a right wing-back. However, in the last 11 fixtures, Hudson-Odoi has played just 113 minutes.
Fourteen of those came on Saturday in the 2-1 victory over Manchester City. The England international was introduced in place of Hakim Ziyech and featured as part of the attacking unit. He had an impact.
It was Hudson-Odoi’s sharp turn, burst forward and pass that released Timo Werner, whose cutback was then finished by a combination of Marcos Alonso and Hudson-Odoi for a stoppage-time winner.
After the full-time whistle, and while still on the Etihad pitch, Tuchel was seen giving Hudson-Odoi feedback on his display. The Chelsea head coach liked what he had seen from the young winger and he says the challenge is now for the academy graduate to build on that cameo and to prove himself each and every day.
“The inside position where he played against Man City, this is maybe his best position, we agree on that,” Tuchel explained.
“The big change he had when we brought him on was that it was not only one action that he had. Within one action there were two or three accelerations and decelerations.
“Callum needs to understand how to use his potential. He needs to understand how to push himself to the absolute limit, not be happy with 80, 85, 90, 95 percent. He must simply be not happy about it any single day. This is the thing he has to learn, understand and live for.
“Once he does this, he will make his way and leave his footprint. In his position, it’s about assisting and scoring. Don’t forget that, we don’t have to talk around that. Big talent is a big responsibility and this is what he’s trying hard [to realise]. Sometimes better, sometimes ok, sometimes very, very good.
“When we have a chance we let him play. Don’t forget that we only have three changes in England, that is a big disadvantage for the guys like Callum and Tammy [Abraham] We can’t give them 20 minutes here and there that could make a huge difference to their feeling and development.”
Source by Football London