Thomas Tuchel admits that he had to stop Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi from leaving the club in the last summer transfer window.
The 20-year-old has featured eight times for Chelsea in all competitions this season — nine including the UEFA Super Cup.
When asked whether he is glad that Hudson-Odoi did not leave the club, Tuchel surprisingly confirmed Hudson-Odoi’s intention to pursue regular football outside Chelsea during the summer. The manager said during his Monday press conference:
“Listen. It’s not like we wanted him out, and then he suddenly stayed — we didn’t let him leave. We build the squad and Callum is a piece of that puzzle. He thought that maybe it was tough to get minutes [at Chelsea] and maybe a bit easier at another club. But you can never be sure it is [the case].
“So we told him straight, I told him straight when he asked for it [to leave] that it was not possible. We rely on him to accept his role and that there is still huge progress that he could make within this group and this club.”
Thomas Tuchel is clearly aware that Hudson-Odoi does not only want to play more — he wants to play more in his favourite left winger position.
Having acknowledged that Hudson-Odoi has proved himself in that role in recent games, Tuchel has now sent a clear message to the player about cementing his place in the starting line-up.
“Was it fair to let him play as a right wing-back? No, maybe not. But he had to take this for the team, and he did. He was always positive and showed good spirit. To get a place in this team is all about performance and this is what Callum shows at the moment [as a left winger]. Now it’s important that he shows consistency, stays hungry, and keeps progressing but at the same time, [keeps being] aware of what it takes to stay in the team.”