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Thomas Tuchel admits he wasn’t always fair on Callum Hudson-Odoi playing at wing-back

Callum Hudson Odoi

Thomas Tuchel has spoken about Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has praised his winger Callum Hudson-Odoi for playing a key role in Chelsea’s strong start to the Premier League so far this season.

Hudson-Odoi was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge prior to the start of the Premier League campaign – but he has played a key role so far.

And in recent weeks, he has established himself as a key man in Chelsea’s forward line, as the Blues get to grips with the unavailability of players such as Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.

Thomas Tuchel on Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Despite suggestions linking the England international with a move away from Chelsea, Tuchel stressed that he was never going to let Hudson-Odoi leave the club.

“It wasn’t like we wanted to have him out [on loan] and now we’re glad that he stayed,” he said. “We didn’t let him leave.

“We built the squad and Callum was a piece of the puzzle. He thought it might be tough to get minutes and that it might be easier at another club. But you can never be sure that it’s like this.

“I told him straight when he asked that it was not possible. We rely on him and we rely on him to accept his role. There is still huge progress he can make within this group and club.”

Hudson-Odoi as a wing-back.

While also featuring as a forward, Hudson-Odoi has proven himself to be adept at playing in the wing-back positions, despite that not being his traditional position.

“Was it always fair to play him as a right wing-back? No, maybe not. But he had to take this for the team and he did – and was always positive and showed the right spirit,” the German added.

“He had a very good pre-season when we saw what he could do on the half-left side. He struggled a bit, in the beginning, to prove that during matches but now we’ve had some injuries, it was needed that he shows up and delivers. This is what he did.

“Like we always say, to get a place in this team, it’s all about performance and this is what Callum shows at the moment. It’s important he shows consistency, stays hungry, and keeps on going and progressing.

“At the same time, he has to be aware of what he has do to stay in the team. And it looks good in this moment.”

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