Thomas Tuchel revealed how he blocked Calum Hudson-Odoi’s deadline day move, as he expects the winger to challenge for a place this season.
Problems emerged between Calum Hudson-Odoi and Thomas Tuchel last season, with the German manager publicly criticising the winger for some of his performances. That led to speculation the 20-year-old might leave the club in the summer window.
Despite plenty of links to clubs in England and Germany, the winger remained at Chelsea. However, Tuchel has now revealed the winger came close to moving to Dortmund and how he decided to block it.
Chelsea allowed several of their young talents to leave during the summer. Experienced stars such as Kurt Zouma also departed, yet Tuchel kept Hudson-Odoi, reportedly considered a key part of the manager’s plans this season.
Hudson-Odoi failed to feature in the first three games, only to get drafted into the lineup against Aston Villa. However, the winger has endured an inconsistent career at Chelsea, failing to regularly feature under any of the four managers he’s worked with.
However, Tuchel seems adamant about keeping him this season and revealed during his post-match talk about the winger’s situation. Goal.com posted quotes from the German manager on Hudson-Odoi, where he told reporters how he blocked a late move to Borussia Dortmund.
Tuchel said, “We have spoken. It was a very easy decision for me to make on the last day of the transfer period. We cannot let a player go who is in the 18/19 man squad. He is able to play as a right wing-back, a left wing-back in the two number 10 positions. He knows the group; we know him very well. There was no chance to say yes on the last day.
However, Tuchel also admitted a move to Germany would have been a good opportunity for the winger. He continued, “For him personally, it may have been a good opportunity, but for us and our targets that we want to achieve, it was simply impossible. It was an easy one for me, actually.”
Tuchel has now challenged Hudson-Odoi to earn his place in this Chelsea side, although praised his efforts in training. He stated, “Callum has to overcome the gap between training and games. I see a stronger Callum every day in training, and he needs to overcome this gap and show this kind of determination that he shows in training.
“If he gets minutes, it’s never a gift. Nobody gets gifts because we sometimes take hard decisions, like for Callum not to let him go. He needs to deserve it. I know it’s not his favourite position, but I think he can play this position and serve the team when it’s necessary.”