Thomas Tuchel has insisted that Callum Hudson-Odoi is in contention to start against Atletico Madrid in midweek, despite being subbed off after just 30 minutes at the weekend.
The 20-year-old had been in excellent form of late in an unfamiliar right-wing back position, yet was left on the bench for Chelsea’s clash with Southampton at St. Mary’s.
With the Blues trailing 1-0 at half-time to a Takumi Minamino goal, the England international was brought on at the interval in place of Tammy Abraham, before being subbed off again just 30 minutes later with the game at 1-1.
After the match, Tuchel revealed that the ruthless decision came as he was not happy with the winger’s impact, with Hakim Ziyech replacing the youngster on the 75 minute mark.
With a crucial Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid to come on Tuesday, however, the German has revealed that he has no major issue with the player and that he ‘has every chance of starting’ against Diego Simeone’s side.
“It is not a big thing at all for me,” Tuchel told chelseafc.com of his decision to sub Hudson-Odoi. “I have spoken to Callum, and I’ve spoken to the whole group. Sometimes, these things happen in football and it was just my decision.
“Maybe I was being harsh on him because he was on my side of the pitch and I was up close to him, but I did not feel that he was really into the game. I didn’t think he was totally sharp and that is why I took a hard decision on him. But that decision was in the moment and for that day only.
“For me, this is absolutely not a big thing and only becomes one if people want to talk about it.
“Callum has been fantastic for me so far and it’s on him to show me that every game and every day in training. I want him to show me that he is a reliable guy for the team when he comes on from the bench, like he is when he starts.
“He has started a lot of games for me and in this instance, he has taken a hard decision. Now he must swallow it and come into training ready to work ahead of Atletico, a game which he has every chance of starting.”