Tuchel challenges Hudson-Odoi to live up to potential after Chelsea winger left out in the cold



The Blues boss began his career in English football by playing his academy graduate regularly but he has since fallen down the pecking order

Thomas Tuchel has challenged Callum Hudson-Odoi to live up to his potential at Chelsea and compared his situation to that of Tammy Abraham.

Having started five out of Tuchel’s first six games predominantly as a wing-back, the 20-year-old has found himself on the bench for his side’s last eight games.

Hudson-Odoi isn’t likely to push for an exit this summer but it is clear that he has fallen below Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech in the pecking order. Ahead of a home league match with Arsenal, Tuchel explained his reasons for giving Hudson-Odoi the cold shoulder.

What was said?

“No matter if he’s in talks all around Europe or not, that is not of interest to me. Everything that counts is what he does here and how he lives up to his talent that he clearly he has,” Chelsea boss Tuchel told reporters.

“We were very happy with Callum since we arrived here and in the last weeks there were a few tough decisions against him because we played many times against a back five.

“Against a back five, we relied a bit more on really learned defensive guys like Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] and Reece [James], who are a bit stronger in defence. On the inside position where he played against Man City, this is maybe his best position, we agree on that and the big change and the big impact he had now when we brought him on was that it was not only one action that he had, but it was two or three accelerations.

“Callum needs to understand how to use his potential, he needs to understand how to push himself to the absolute limit and not to be happy with 80, 85, 90, 95 per cent, simply be not happy about it any single day.

“This is the thing he needs to learn and live up to. Once he does this, he will make his way and leave his footprint. It’s about his position. It’s about assisting, it’s about scoring, it is about that, we don’t need to talk around it.

“It’s about putting things to an end. Big talent, big responsibility. This is what he’s trying, sometimes, sometimes better, sometimes OK, sometimes very, very good and when we have a chance we let him play.

“Please don’t forget we only have three changes here in England which is a big advantage for the guys like Callum, like Tammy, like others we’ve spoken about in the last few weeks. We cannot give them 20 minutes here and there which could make a huge, huge difference for their feeling and development.

“But it’s not like this, but if you have only three then you more or less only have two because the last one is a bit of a risk for injuries and finishing the game with 10 people.”

What else did Tuchel say?

Tuchel then turned his focus to the transfer market and hinted he must be careful about new signings because he took over an already-harmonious group.

“A big part of my personality is on coaching and guiding my team and pushing it to the limit. No matter if we win or lose. Being part of a high-level club and well-structured club,” he added.

“I have zero ambition to ruin this atmosphere not for myself or for anybody else. Do we have some ideas how to improve the squad? Yes, we do but will we fight about it? No we will not. We will discuss it and first of all we will finish this season because it is not time to reflect now.

“I embrace the simplicity. I hope I can continue to live like this on the job. Because it is pure fun, very exciting. Very pure the feeling I have right now even though it is a big challenge and the big games keep coming.

“We have some ideas but it is crazy times out there that will influence the transfer market and I don’t see any big problems.”

How Chelsea are shaping up for Arsenal

Both Andreas Christensen and Mateo Kovacic are out for the upcoming clash against Mikel Arteta’s side on Wednesday but all the Blues’ other players are fit.

They will need to manage their minutes carefully, however, with a FA Cup final against Leicester City coming up on Saturday evening.

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