Callum Hudson-Odoi has admitted that after being left out of Thomas Tuchel’s matchday squad for Chelsea’s opening day victory over Everton, he began to consider his future at the club.
The 21-year-old winger struggled for minutes under the previous manager and eventually joined Bayer Leverkusen on a season-long loan with no option to buy at the end of the season.
Tuchel has been relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge since his departure, with Graham Potter taking his place.
“It was one of those difficult moments when you look at yourself and say, ‘What am I doing wrong? Have I done anything wrong to not even be in the squad?” said Hudson-Odoi to Daily Mail.
“I would never say anything bad about Thomas, he was a good guy, a good manager. [But] the first game of the season, it was frustrating. Any footballer that isn’t in the squad would understand how frustrating it is.
“Regular football gives you consistency and the more games you play, the more consistent you become, the more form starts to kick in.
“You feel fresher, you feel better, you feel like…not that you’re getting treated fairly but that you’ve got the trust from the manager to push you and kick you on. You don’t want to be on the bench thinking, ‘Why am I not playing?’ And then it becomes weeks and weeks and the legs are rusty when you do play. The most important thing is consistent football. That’s what I’m getting here and it’s making me feel better.
“Right now, playing games, momentum is kicking on and you feel refreshed: new country, brand-new experience. It’s definitely refreshing to know I get an opportunity to play games week in, week out, enjoying it and smiling!”
Hudson-Odoi also opened up on his conversation with new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, who was prepared to accept a loan departure but made it abundantly clear that he was not interested in discussing anything permanent.
“When a club is trying to get a player [on loan], they always want that option to buy at the end of the season,” the winger began. “Todd was saying: ‘Listen, we want you back here.’
“You’re still on the radar of being wanted by the club. The way he’s trying to set it up, there are a lot of young players he’s trying to buy for the next few years. It shows he wants to integrate the players into the team and help them develop.”