Thomas Tuchel could save Chelsea around £51.8million by simply looking within his current squad this summer.
According to reports, that figure is what the Blues have bid in order to match Paris Saint-Germain’s offer for Inter Milan wing-back Achraf Hakimi, though it has reportedly been rejected.
Hakimi impressed for Inter this season as they won Serie A under Antonio Conte having signed from Real Madrid on a deal worth £34.5m last year.
Chelsea do already have Reece James, who has been excellent at right wing-back, but Tuchel may be keen to improve the depth in that position given Cesar Azpilicueta has become part of the central three.
Though, the Blues already have someone who can play right wing-back – and very well – in the form of out of favour Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The 20-year-old played very well in that position during Tuchel’s early days with the Blues following his January appointment, but he has only been given four Premier League starts since the end of January with James making the position his own.
Nevertheless, if it is depth Chelsea are looking for, Hudson-Odoi can provide it, as well as proving a more than capable option in other positions, whether Tuchel finds himself short of a winger or an attacking midfielder.
Recent reports have suggested Hudson-Odoi could be moved on this summer amid more interest from Bayern Munich, but the Evening Standard have reported he is ‘determined’ to stay and fight for his place regardless of the club’s stance.
And that begs the question of why Chelsea want to spend as much as £51.8m when they already have Hudson-Odoi, a player Tuchel has already praised for his performances at wing-back.
He said back in February: “I didn’t know he hadn’t played wing-back before. Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t ask because maybe I would have doubted my decision!
“We just had one training session before the Wolves game. We were flying in on the same day and wondering what structure to implement to give the team a good feeling, and to have a solid block defensively but also to attack freely.
“To play with four you have to be very disciplined, and the automatisms between the line of four have to be very synchronised.
“So we opted for a back five and we didn’t want to get too defensive. We thought about trying Reece and Callum on the right side in training. Callum fitted very good and we wanted to have at least four offensive guys on the pitch from the start.
“We just let him drive and he did very good, showing all his qualities he has: the high speed, the quick recoveries, dribbles, good one-on-one.”
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And what’s more, Hudson-Odoi himself has already said he is happy to play the position, despite being a winger by trade. He said around the same time: “I’ve never played wing-back or thought about playing there.
“So getting told I was going to play there was certainly something new to me but the manager helped me really well.
“He was explaining stuff, how to play that position, the things to do going forward and coming back. [It] was really helpful for me to get ready for the game.
“I watched some clips with him as well before the game to understand the positioning a bit so it helped me a lot and it was good to play there.
“Hopefully I can keep improving and hopefully keep doing well there.”