Rio Ferdinand left “very surprised” by Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team selection decision

Rio Ferdinand admitted he was surprised by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s decision to play Callum Hudson-Odoi at right wing-back in his first two games at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel raised eyebrows after taking over from Frank Lampard as he opted to play young winger Hudson-Odoi in a brand-new position.

The young Englishman usually plays on either wing in a front three, but was employed in a more defensive role for the first two games of the new head coach’s reign.

He took the place of Reece James, who was one of the breakout stars under Tuchel’s predecessor after bursting into the team last season.

Rio Ferdinand was surprised by Thomas Tuchel’s team selections
(Image: BT Sport)

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And Ferdinand admitted prior to Chelsea’s win over Tottenham on Thursday night that he was surprised to see Tuchel make such a bold call so early in his Stamford Bridge career.

James returned to play in the right wing-back position at the New Tottenham Stadium, with Hudson-Odoi taking a more advanced role in the side.

The two youngsters combined well on the right side of the pitch, and caused problems for Tottenham defender Ben Davies.

Reece James was handed his first minutes under Thomas Tuchel on Thursday against Tottenham

And Tuchel has been told that in James he has a player at his disposal who has got “a lot” as an all-round player.

Ferdinand said: “He’s a top player and I’ll be honest, I was very surprised he didn’t start as soon as Tuchel came in.

“If he’s watching the videos, this kid is up there with the best right-backs in the league.

Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi combined well against Tottenham
(Image: Getty Images)

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“He’s a young kid got great attitude and his delivery of the ball is phenomenal and as an all-round package as a right-back he’s got a lot.”

Speaking about the switch before the game, Tuchel…


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