Chelsea News

‘It’s time!’ – Tuchel’s Hudson-Odoi decision vindicated after familiar Chelsea story

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It has been nine days since the transfer window shut and one decision is still present in many Chelsea fan’s minds, writes the Mirror.

Borussia Dortmund were desperate to bring Callum Hudson-Odoi to the club to help fill the void left behind by Jadon Sancho.

The England international had signed for Manchester United earlier in the window and the Bundesliga club have an excellent track record of developing youngsters.

It seemed the perfect move for Hudson-Odoi, who is yet to play a single minute of football this season under Thomas Tuchel.

In fact, there are concerns that the youngster is being sidelined as a result of the squad depth on offer at Stamford Bridge with the likes of Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner preferred options in attacking positions.

A season of regular football would do wonders for Hudson-Odoi, who has failed to garner a sustained run of form at Chelsea despite his talent.

But it is a long season this year for the Blues, who will have to take part in the Club World Cup – potentially taking their total of games to nearly 70.

Chelsea are going to need all of their players at some point during this campaign as they become many people’s Premier League favourites.

With such a short pre-season after Euro 2020, too, it has restricted Tuchel to options already after admitting he has had to give time off to certain players due to a lack of fitness.

And those problems have reared their head again – this time for Pulisic – who has had a nightmare start to the season.

First, the winger was kept out of the squad through Covid, preventing him from even seeing his teammates.

Now on international duty, the United States manager has admitted he will be returning to London with an injury.

As the USA beat Honduras 4-1, Pulisic was clattered by former Wigan star Mayor Figueroa and forced off with Gregg Berhalter saying: “Christian has a slight ankle injury.

“We’re going to get more info on it when he goes back to London, the severity of it.”

It is the same ankle that has been giving Pulisic trouble throughout his time at Chelsea and a problem that does not look like being solved anytime soon.

For Hudson-Odoi, that gives him a way back into the set-up – and not at right wing-back where the 20-year-old’s best attributes are wasted.

Pulisic often operates on the left-hand side and that is where the Englishman is most dangerous, cutting in on his right-foot and using his arsenal of trickery to beat defenders and make something happen.

The American’s injury troubles also justify Tuchel’s decision to keep Hudson-Odoi in the camp – though his options remain strong with Mason Mount likely to start in the position this weekend against Aston Villa.

But the explosiveness of Hudson-Odoi can give the German manager something else to think about and can be the chance the wonderkid has finally needed to prove to his boss that he can fulfil his potential.

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