Thomas Tuchel admits he said no to 20-year-old's request to leave Chelsea last summer
Thomas Tuchel admitted 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.
Four of those are in the Premier League, with a total of 305 minutes under his belt in the competition.
While it still ranks 17th in terms of minutes played in the league among the current squad, but at this stage of the season, he has never had more starts than this term.
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.
“Listen. It’s not like we wanted him out, and then he suddenly stayed — we didn’t let him leave,” the Chelsea manager said during his Monday press conference.
“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.”
Hudson-Odoi must show consistency to stay a regular at Chelsea, says Tuchel
The manager 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.” the German added.
“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.”