Thomas Tuchel’s tough love with Callum Hudson-Odoi all part of a wider plan for the Chelsea star

Thomas Tuchel has made a number of statement decisions since being appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor at Stamford Bridge last month, and no player has experienced this more profoundly than Callum Hudson-Odoi.

The German has used the players at his disposal differently to his predecessor, with various names reintegrated into proceedings including Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

However, the player who seems to have received the most attention from the new boss is Hudson-Odoi. The English forward has featured in every Premier League game under the his tenure so far, with four of those coming as a starter.

The most recent was his strange 30-minute cameo against Southampton last Saturday when the 20-year-old introduced to try and change the course of the match at half-time with Chelsea 1-0 down to Saints.

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However, Hudson-Odoi was then surprisingly replaced by Hakim Ziyech before the conclusion of the match with his head coach then publicly citing his attitude and application, while simultaneously playing down the gravitas of the decision.

What it adds up to is that Hudson-Odoi, given his minutes under the German and the level of standards expected of him is that Tuchel clearly values his ability and, even more so, his potential ceiling and that he, perhaps more so than others, is something of a pet project.

There is every reason to suggest that despite his indiscretion at St Mary’s, Hudson-Odoi could well be involved tonight against Atletico Madrid. Should he do so, he’ll need to present a greater body of work than what was witnessed on the south coast.

In possession, Hudson-Odoi’s impression was not the greatest. He didn’t take a shot, nor did he generate a scoring opportunity for any of his teammates.

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