Tuchel says one Chelsea player really tried to impress him during international break
Thomas Tuchel said Callum Hudson-Odoi has made a lot of effort into cementing his place as a regular starter at Chelsea after refusing to join the England Under-21 team in the last months.
Recently, the 21-year-old was called “quite arrogant” by talkSPORT pundit Trevor Sinclair for refusing to be part of the England U21s.
England manager Gareth Southgate also commented on Hudson-Odoi’s decision, insisting the winger would have a better chance of impressing his coaching team by playing with the U21s.
Southgate might have had a point since Conor Gallagher and Emile Smith Rowe have recently made the leap into England’s senior squad from the U21s.
Tuchel, however, refused to influence Hudson-Odoi’s decision. Instead, he highlighted the player’s effort in securing his spot at Chelsea.
“Maybe,” the Chelsea manager said when asked whether Hudson-Odoi may change his mind about joining the England U21s during Friday’s press conference.
“But it is Callum’s choice in the end, and I will not interfere and be the guy who decides for him.
“The best way to talk is with performance on the field, and the next chance is tomorrow, so the minutes he gets — if he gets minutes, he has to take it and let the quality speak for itself.
“He has decided to stay here [during the international break] twice to have the possibility to impress us and, from his point of view, the chance to [secure] his starting position.
“So fair enough, and I hope nobody takes [his decision] personally.”
Hudson-Odoi has already had three senior England caps but has not featured for the team since 2019.
The Chelsea academy graduate, however, is not the only Chelsea player with a point to prove after the international break.
Saul Niguez, who also stayed with the club in the last two weeks, is also fighting for his spot after an underwhelming start to his season.