Thomas Tuchel: ‘Very easy decision’ not to let Callum Hudson-Odoi leave Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that it was a “very easy decision” not to let Callum Hudson-Odoi leave Chelsea in the summer transfer window.

The 20-year-old was linked with a possible move away from Stamford Bridge on a loan teal this summer, with Borussia Dortmund and Leicester City said to be among the clubs who were interested in landing the attacking midfielder.

However, Tuchel opted to block an exit for the England international as he chose to keep Hudson-Odoi at Stamford Bridge beyond the close of the transfer window last week.

Hudson-Odoi made his first Premier League start of the season for the Blues on Saturday as he played 82 minutes in the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel has now revealed that it was a straightforward decision for him to keep Hudson-Odoi at Stamford Bridge this season.

Speaking at his post-match news conference on Saturday, Tuchel said: “We have spoken. It was a very easy decision for me to make on the last day of the transfer period.

“We cannot to let a player who is in the 18/19 man squad. He is able to play as a right wing-back, a left wing-back in the two ten positions. He knows the group, we know him very well. There was no chance to say yes on the last day.

“For him personally it may have been a good opportunity but for us and our targets that we want to achieve, it was simply impossible. It was an easy one for me actually.

“Callum has to overcome the gap between training and games. I see a stronger Callum every day in training and he needs to overcome this gap and show this kind of determination that he shows in training.

“If he gets minutes, it’s never a gift. Nobody gets gifts because we take maybe sometimes hard decisions like for Callum not to let him go. He needs to deserve it.

“I know it’s not his favourite position but I think he can play this position and serve the team when it’s necessary.

“Today it was necessary and still he can do better. Still he can be more aggressive, still he needs to push himself absolutely to the limits.

“This is what he does in training. He needs to overcome this gap to fight for his place in the squad. This is life at Chelsea.”

Chelsea will take on Zenit-Saint Petersburg in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

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