Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi proved to Thomas Tuchel that he can play in a wing-back role after an impressive display in training prior to the German’s first match in charge. Hudson-Odoi has produced two solid performances in Tuchel’s first two games.
Chelsea boss Tuchel is continuing to implement his style of play on the team.
The German, who took over from Frank Lampard, played five at the back in his first two games, with three centre-backs and two attacking wing-backs.
First, he gave Ben Chilwell a chance on the left wing, but replaced him with Marcos Alonso for the win over Burnley.
On the right, however, he’s kept with Hudson-Odoi, a change for the youngster who is used to playing in an attacking role.
The winger looked impressive in both games, and used his speed to get forward and join attacks while not neglecting his defensive responsibilities.
And Tuchel explained that he decided to give Hudson-Odoi a chance after seeing him in training for the first time.
Eyebrows were raised when he opted for the winger ahead of Reece James, but Tuchel insists the decision was made as he didn’t want to line up too defensively.
He spoke highly of Hudson-Odoi’s determination to prove himself, and gives an insight into the youngster’s frame of mind.
Last year, Bayern Munich were determined to sign the right-footed starlet and were said to have bid £50million for him.
But Chelsea were determined to keep hold of him and insisted they wouldn’t let him go regardless of the price.
Now, it seems the 20-year-old is comfortable having nailed down his new position, and has the backing of the manager to go with it.
Tuchel explained after giving him a chance at right wing-back: “I didn’t know he hadn’t played wing-back before, maybe it was a good thing I didn’t ask because maybe I would have doubted my decision.
“We just had one training session before the Wolves game. We were flying in on the same day and wondering what structure to implement to give the team a good feeling, and to have a solid block defensively but also to attack freely.
“To play with four you have to be very disciplined, and the automatisms between the line of four have to be very synchronised.
“So we opted for a back five and we didn’t want to get too defensive. We thought about trying Reece and Callum on the right side in training.
“Callum fitted very good and we wanted to have at least four offensive guys on the pitch from the start.
“We just let him drive and he did very good, showing all his qualities he has: the high speed, the quick recoveries, dribbles, good one-on-one.
“He took his chance. There was no need to change for the second game and he did another good match.
“Maybe in some defensive duels in the air there is space to improve, but this is absolutely normal.
“I am very happy he was happy to be on the pitch. He has given his best and that’s what we have asked for.”