It was after Callum Hudson-Odoi scampered down Chelsea’s right flank unopposed once more that Burnley boss Sean Dyche lost patience with Robbie Brady.
The Clarets boss demanded his winger do more to halt the 20-year-old, who was having a major influence on the contest. Brady, after a choice expletive, replied forcefully: “I just can’t stop him. What do you want me to do?”
Those words will delight Chelsea fans and Thomas Tuchel alike. Hudson-Odoi has been viewed as a talent destined for the top since his formative years in the Blues academy. It’s largely why Bayern Munich have tried to sign him on multiple occasions.
Yet a rapid ascent hasn’t occurred for the winger. Part of the reason for that is lack of opportunity, the other is he lost several months to a nasty Achilles injury suffered during his breakout campaign.
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By Hudson-Odoi’s own admission, that injury required plenty of time to recover from. And even after making his return, there were setbacks and his best form wasn’t easy to rediscover.
However, as Frank Lampard’s tenure at Stamford Bridge drew to a close, Hudson-Odoi was making decisive impacts on a consistent basis. He netted in the defeat to Manchester City, scored and assisted in the win over Morecambe, and created a goal in the victory over Luton Town.
Despite his form, Hudson-Odoi wasn’t a regular starter under Lampard. That has quickly changed under Tuchel.
The England international has been included in the side from the off against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley in the somewhat unfamiliar role as right wing-back. His adaptation has been seamless.
Part of the reason for that is Chelsea’s domination in both games has resulted in Hudson-Odoi spending large swathes of time in the attacking third, which is where he does his best…