Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi handed perfect chance to reignite his career

Reece James first-half injury in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City was a huge blow, but Callum Hudson-Odoi could now have the perfect chance to jump-start his Blues career

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Tuchel gives verdict on Chelsea’s defeat to Man City

He was Thomas Tuchel’s first major statement as manager, and now Callum Hudson-Odoi has a chance to reclaim the centre stage at Chelsea.

The German boss stunned the footballing world when he deployed Hudson-Odoi as a right wing-back in his first match at the helm of Stamford Bridge against Wolves.

It was a fascinating, bold, but promising move from Tuchel, and while the 20-year-old was not able to break the deadlock in the 0-0 draw with the Midlanders, he did make a good name for himself.

Unfortunately for the dynamic winger, Reece James was eventually brought back into the fold and the England international resumed service as Chelsea’s first-choice wing-back.

However, James’ injury in the first-half of Chelsea’s 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City means Hudson-Odoi potentially has a golden opportunity to reclaim the spot.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has a golden opportunity to take centre stage at Chelsea

Tuchel reacted to James injury by introducing Thiago Silva, and moving captain Cesar Azpilicueta to the wing-back position.

The Spaniard will certainly go down as a club legend, but Chelsea do not carry the same level of speed, attacking guile, and direct threat as they do when James plays.

There is no doubt Hudson-Odoi would have been frustrated by his snubbing, but the Blues’ inability to really attack or trouble City before and after James’ injury will have left Tuchel reflecting.

After-all the contracts of both Azpilicueta and Silva expire next summer, and if new contracts are not agreed, Tuchel will not have any of the experienced defenders to call upon.

Tuchel may not have full trust in Hudson-Odoi’s defensive attributes, but the fact he blocked Borussia Dortmund’s approach to loan the English international, highlights he still sees something positive in him.

And now is surely the time for the 20-year-old to fill the boots vacated by James, who is set to miss “weeks” of football according to Premier League injury analyst Ben Dinnery.

Can Callum Hudson-Odoi recover his Chelsea and England career? Comment below

Callum Hudson-Odoi’s deployment at right-wing-back was Thomas Tuchel’s first decision of note as Chelsea manager

He started four of Tuchel’s opening five Premier League matches, but since then he has only been in the starting XI in five of the Blues’ last 20 league games.

But with James consigned to the side-lines, Hudson-Odoi needs to take this chance if afforded to him.

There have also been signs of a possible long-term plan to deploy James as the right-centre-back and Hudson-Odoi ahead of him as the wing-back.

Tuchel has often reverted James into the back three, where he has performed admirably well considering he has normally played as a wing-back or a natural full-back.

Reece James could be set for a length spell on the sidelines, after suffering a tenth minute injury in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City

It was there he outstandingly shut-out Raheem Sterling in the Blues Champions League final victory against Guardiola’s side.

Azpilicueta’s time at Chelsea may be finite, and at this current moment James and Hudson-Odoi are the solutions.

Tuchel’s reversion to a 3-5-2 formation against City could also be music to Hudson-Odoi’s ears.

The extra midfielder in the middle of the park would mean an extra emphasis for the wing-backs to push even further forward to make up for the one less attacker.

And that is exactly where Hudson-Odoi is at his most dangerous.

There are not many better right sided players who can get around the outside of a full-back and drive into the box or cross, within the Blues’ ranks than the youngster.

Tuchel may look to turn to his first statement as Chelsea boss for extra inspiration.

It is then Hudson-Odoi will have to reply with an even bigger statement of his own.

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