‘What I prefer’: 21-year-old tells Tuchel which position he’d like to play more often for Chelsea

Callum Hudson-Odoi voiced his preference to playing in attack rather than at wing-back for Chelsea.

As quoted by the club website, Hudson-Odoi reminded Thomas Tuchel where his fondness lies in terms of positions on the pitch.

How best to use Hudson-Odoi?

For those who have studied the 21-year-old thoroughly, they foremost view him as a winger.

He has the speed and skill to beat an opponent both on the inside or outside, with a decent delivery from the bye line to match.

Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Therefore, plenty of eyebrows were raised when he started at wing-back in Tuchel’s first game as Chelsea manager.

Hudson-Odoi played there a few more times during the season, a theme that has rolled over into the current campaign.

Whilst the academy graduate actually possesses the requisite qualities to feature at wing-back – pace and energy to get up and down, plus decent crossing ability – his strengths truly are best served further up field.

Attack over defence

He contributed three goals (one goal, two assists) in as many fixtures in the Champions League group stages whilst being deployed in the front three.

His only Premier League strike of the term arrived as part of the attacking trio, then he bagged a brace of assists against Aston Villa from the same role.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

It is clear to almost everyone that Hudson-Odoi belongs in the offensive unit, something he tried to hint at towards his manager.

“In that position you always have to cover for somebody,” said the Cobham scholar about being used at wing-back.  

“For example, if the centre-back goes forward you have to cover in, just to make sure and be around.

“So it’s definitely a different position, definitely harder, so I’d say definitely an attacking position is what I prefer.”

Awaiting on Reece’s return

Granted, sometimes Tuchel has been forced into squeezing Hudson-Odoi at wing-back.

Without Reece James, Chelsea’s only other recognised option on the right is Cesar Azpilicueta, who simply cannot manage every minute.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

At one stage during the January window, it seemed like the Blues would be adding another player to this department, possibly in the form of Sergino Dest.

Yet, with James getting closer to recovery, a new signing looks unlikely.

Hudson-Odoi might have to fill in for his mate just a few more times before he can move back to his beloved job.  

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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.