For several days there had been reported interest from Atalanta, Borussia Dortmund and closer to home with Leicester City.
On the final day of the summer transfer window though any loan was scuppered with Thomas Tuchel reportedly blocking it.
Since then, little has changed regarding Hudson-Odoi’s overall stance at Stamford Bridge but the recent ankle injury to Reece James potentially gives the winger a route into the first time, and for Tuchel a chance to justify why he kept the English attacker around.
England’s coach Gareth Southgate during a training session at St George’s Park ahead of the quarter-final clash against Ukraine
Marina Granovskaia’s big Chelsea transfer mistake highlighted by Gareth Southgate yet againfootballlondon
Even with some supporter frustration over Tuchel’s insistence to play Hudson-Odoi in an unfavored right wingback role, it does give the 20-year-old a more realistic chance for minutes that have been so hard to come by over the past year.
Hudson-Odoi came off the bench in the second half in Wednesday night’s disappointing defeat to Juventus in the Champions League, instantly deployed again as a wing-back looking to take on Alex Sandro and offer more threat than Cesar Azpilicueta had. Following the game, Tuchel spoke of the triple sub he deployed, which along with Hudson-Odoi introduced fellow academy products Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah.
“We just wanted to give an impact from the bench. We have five substitutions and wanted to use them. We trust those on the bench. We just wanted to give fresh legs and more energy.”
Hudson-Odoi like his fellow subs did offer more individually and should all be contention to feature on Saturday.
Though specifically with Hudson-Odoi there will still be that lingering doubt over whether Tuchel will place the faith in him he showed at the beginning of his time at Chelsea. Even when the winger has impressed either starting or off the bench, the feeling of meritocracy has not exactly applied to Hudson-Odoi in the following game.
In the first few outings of Tuchel’s tenure, he deployed the winger as the right-sided wide player in his 3-4-2-1 system.
Against Wolves, Burnley, Spurs and Newcastle at the start of this year, Hudson-Odoi was able to impress and add energy to Chelsea’s attack, having the freedom to drive up and join the attack against deep-lying defences. A similar occurrence happened back in April away at Crystal Palace where Hudson-Odoi flourished from the same position in a dominant 4-1 victory.
Reece James being absent for the clash with Southampton on Saturday provides an opportunity to see Hudson-Odoi start in a game the Blues will be expected to attack and dominate against a Saints outfit without a league win so far. And with one shot on target in Chelsea’s last two games, Tuchel needs to find fresh invention from somewhere.
Just like you, we can’t get enough of Chelsea! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive Chelsea coverage on football.london with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to Chelsea fans – CareFreeChelsea.
Writers and presenters who share your passion for the Blues will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.
After two uninspiring attacking displays to drag the Blues confidence down, Stamford Bridge will need to see a lot more against a side who gained an impressive away point to Pep Guardiola’s men the previous week. Callum Hudson-Odoi can be a part of that answer and is it now on Tuchel to justify why he has kept the youngster around.
With regular opportunities presented to Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz, Hudson-Odoi has reason to feel aggrieved he hasn’t been handed more looks into the first team so far.