Saturday, 28 August 2021 02:02

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel questions Callum Hudson-Odoi on why he rejected England call-up

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Thomas Tuchel has insisted he does not want Callum Hudson-Odoi to leave Chelsea on loan, but the manager has questioned the winger’s decision to snub a place in England’s Under-21 squad.


Hudson-Odoi did not feature in Chelsea’s first two league games and there is a chance of him leaving Stamford Bridge before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday. 

The 20-year-old, who has risked hurting his relationship with England after deciding not to join up with Lee Carsley’s squad, has struggled to push on since signing a lucrative five-year deal in September 2019 and Tuchel admitted that the youngster needs to play more.


However, it remains to be seen which club can afford Hudson-Odoi. Bayern Munich have cooled their interest in him, while a move to Atalanta is unlikely, and Tuchel has left the door open for the forward to prove himself at Chelsea, who visit Liverpool on Saturday.


“There’s always room for improvement here in training,” Tuchel said. 


“It’s hard to argue that he needs regular game time to improve his level. At the same time, it’s not only about letting players go. If we want to compete in all competitions, it’s also about numbers.


“You need a squad of 20 to 21 players. I have the feeling that Callum decided to fight for his place here. He had a very good pre-season. The door is always open to sneak through. At the moment, there is no loan.”


Tuchel believes that Hudson-Odoi would have benefited from playing in England’s Under-21 internationals against Romania and Kosovo next month. 


“It’s his decision and nothing to do with my opinion or the club’s,” the German said. 


“If I speculate a little bit I think it’s about disappointment that he is not nominated for the first team, but at the same time maybe he did not have enough minutes to be nominated for the first team. I could see the upgrade in having some minutes and being in a leading role for the Under 21s, but he decided differently so he will deal with the consequences.”


Tuchel, who has plenty of competition for places in attack, has previously called on Hudson-Odoi to push himself to the limit every day. 


“He fights against a lot of guys with a lot of quality,” he said. “It is very hard for him. But we don’t have to feel sorry for him. Once the door is a little bit open we demand he puts his feet in between it.”

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