Callum Hudson-Odoi admitted to beinSport that he was bemused at first when Thomas Tuchel asked him to play wing-back for Chelsea.

The 20-year-old started in his new role for Tuchel’s opening games in charge of Chelsea having played the majority of his career as a traditional winger.

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Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel (R) hugs Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi (C) at the end of the match during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on February 7, 2021. – Chelsea won the game 2-1. (Photo by LEE SMITH / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by LEE SMITH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

 “We tried it in training the day before and then obviously I didn’t know if I was going to start the game or not,” Hudson-Odoi confessed when asked about being selected at RWB.

“When it happened, I was like, ‘I’m playing here…’? I was confused. The next day he told me and I was like ‘oh, I’ve never played there before’. It was a big shock to me.

“I’ve never played this position before. I’ll try my best. He showed me some clips before the game and showed me how to play and what positions to be in when the team had the ball.

“From then I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s not that bad of a position to play.”

Despite having never previously been deployed there before, Hudson-Odoi excelled at his task and was arguably Chelsea’s best player across the two matches.

Sheffield United v Chelsea - Premier League
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 07: Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Bramall Lane on February 07, 2021 in Sheffield, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Chelsea Football Club/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

He was pushed further forward in the 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspurs, with Reece James replacing him at wing-back.

 

This has not been the only tactical tweak Tuchel has induced since his arrival in England. He reverted Chelsea’s formation back to a 3-4-2-1, which worked so efficiently during their title winning season of 2016/17.

Tuchel reinstated Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger to the back-line, as well as returning Jorginho to Chelsea’s midfield.

Sheffield United v Chelsea - Premier League
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 07: Jorginho of Chelsea scores their side’s second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Bramall Lane on February 07, 2021 in Sheffield, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Oli Scarff – Pool/Getty Images)

They have now gone four games unbeaten in the Premier League thanks to Tuchel’s transformation.

Chelsea also moved up from ninth to sixth in that time and can now seriously put themselves in contention for the top four.

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I’ve loved seeing Hudson-Odoi given so much freedom but also responsibility down that right flank. He looks to enjoying his football again, as do many of the other Chelsea contingent.

Maybe Gareth Southgate is even keeping note?

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