'Cannot show his full potential': Tuchel admits he has been using Chelsea star in wrong position

Thomas Tuchel confessed he is yet to unlock the full capacity of Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea.

As quoted by the club website, Tuchel acknowledged his slight regret at using Hudson-Odoi as a wing-back rather than as an attacker.

The 20-year-old demonstrated how effective he can be further forward against Norwich City last weekend.

He started and scored during the 7-0 obliteration of Daniel Farke’s fumbling side.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Callum’s horses for courses

Moments of such ecstasy have been rare recently for the Cobham academy graduate.

His role under Tuchel has largely been restrained and restricted.

Either because Hudson-Odoi simply hasn’t been picked, or he’s been placed in the wrong position.

During the German’s early days as Chelsea chief, he deployed the former England international at wing-back.

Up until Saturday’s swashbuckling display, the Blues boss had persisted with playing Hudson-Odoi in this unorthodox role, without much substance to show for it.

Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

Perhaps Tuchel will think twice about asking the winger from Wandsworth to feature at wing-back following his Norwich contribution.

“We are also very aware we are maybe a bit unfair and play him too often as a right wing-back where he cannot show his full potential,” said the coach.

“We are aware of that so it’s always a mix and at the moment, we think that we find a way to push him to the limits and this can change from week to week.”

Trouble in paradise

Although Tuchel’s decision to free up Hudson-Odoi proved prosperous, the latter still has plenty of work to do to win over his manager.

Before the Norwich game, the former Borussia Dortmund man claimed his player had some distance to go before completing a turnaround at Chelsea.

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

“Is there a turning point? OK, he needs to prove it. He needs to play the next 250 games on the highest level and then that was the turning point.

“It’s only a turning point if he makes it a turning point – and only if he does not only do one good match, one good half, 60 good minutes, but if he does it consistently.”

Very few have faced Tuchel’s wrath like Hudson-Odoi, a confusing relationship that’s been rocky ever since the Southampton debacle last season.

“He needs that”, continued Tuchel about being hard on the Blues academy graduate

“These guys who are so full of quality hear sometimes a bit too often how good they are, but you need to prove it, to show it, and for the offensive guys it is easy – just read statistics and deliver assists and goals.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“This is what he does and what he needs to show.

“This is the highest level in England, this is the highest level in Europe so we are hopefully not unfair but we are tough on him, because it’s not enough with this talent just to be a part of the group.”

The challenge is there for Hudson-Odoi, he just needs the opportunities to complete it.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.