Thomas Tuchel believes Callum Hudson-Odoi’s decision to decline the call-up for England’s U21 squad is a boost for Chelsea, but warned the winger that he could suffer consequences for his choice.
Gareth Southgate revealed on Thursday that Hudson-Odoi had decided to stay at Chelsea during the upcoming national team break to focus on “patrolling a case” to stay in the first team of the Blues.
The England manager questioned Hudson-Odoi’s decision, saying “he has a better chance of impressing us if he is also with the U21, frankly”, but Tuchel believes England’s defeat could be Chelsea’s gain. .
He said: “I was not involved in this discussion. I know it was a discussion between the federation and Callum, and I think it ended with Petr Cech. [Chelsea’s technical and performance advisor] be questioned.
“I was happy with that: I had no interest in being involved and knowing the exact reasons why.
“If Callum is here, we have full control of what he’s doing. It’s a good thing when we’re in charge.
“He is clearly on the right path, you can see it from the matches and how effective he is. I feel that he is very focused. He has waited a long time for these occasions and now they have arrived.
“The best reaction from him is to go ahead and show the consistency we need from him.”
Hudson-Odoi has made his way into the Chelsea side in recent weeks following injuries from other forwards, and rewarded Tuchel’s confidence in him with a 7-0 Norwich goal and an assist in the 1-0 win at Malmo Tuesday.
But while the 20-year-old may receive a price for his club-level performance, Tuchel warned he may have to accept some criticism for his decision to decline a call-up to the international team.
“I can understand if people don’t understand it or if they don’t like it,” said the Chelsea manager. “I don’t give much to external judgments.
“I think Callum is very aware that if he makes a decision like this, not everyone will be happy.
“You should ask Callum. He probably has good reasons why he thinks that right now, for him personally, it’s best to stay and fight for his place. It’s easy to judge from the outside, but you should hear both sides.
“If there are consequences, I’m sure Callum will take the consequences.”
While Hudson-Odoi will not join England U21 set up for this month’s international break, his Chelsea team-mate Mason Mount has been included in Southgate’s plans for senior team matches against Albania and San Marino.
However, the midfielder was forced to miss the Blues’ last two games due to a wisdom tooth infection and, while available for Saturday’s visit to Burnley, Tuchel revealed that the problem could force Mount to retire from the club. squad for the World Cup in England. qualifications.
“It’s difficult,” he said. “He was sick, but the reason is his wisdom teeth. It’s a bit of an infection.
“He’s back to training yesterday and today. He lost some weight because he can’t eat well. He’s taking some medicine so let’s see.
“He is in the squad for tomorrow and can play for a few minutes, but we will have to wait for the reaction because it seems that adequate care must be taken.
“I expect him [join the England squad] if all goes well, but we need proper treatment of wisdom teeth. So it may be that he is out or joining maybe a little later.
“We will always push and encourage him, there is no question. We are proud when he is selected, and he is proud, so there are no tactics behind closed doors.
“But we have full responsibility for his health and there is something we need to take care of.”
Although Mount is able to return to the Chelsea squad for the Burnley match, they will again be without Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Mateo Kovacic through injury, while Tuchel said Marcos Alonso will also miss the match after suffering an ankle problem. in Malmo.
Tuchel: It’s not hard to see Gallagher’s progress
Unlike Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea loan midfielder Conor Gallagher accepted a call-up for England U21 after a string of impressive performances for Crystal Palace.
The 21-year-old’s latest effort saw him score in Palace’s 2-0 shock win over Premier League champions Manchester City on October 30, and Tuchel says he’s well aware of the Chelsea Academy graduate’s progress in the south of London.
“Well, it’s not hard to follow because it’s standing out every single day,” Tuchel said. “We talked a lot in preseason and we could imagine him staying and fighting for his place here.
“We all decided together when the talks with Patrick Vieira began to go to the Crystal Palace and, once he understood the role he could have in the club, he wanted to accept the challenge.
“It takes some luck and obviously some quality, but his heart is so, so big. He loves football, you could wake him up at 4am and he will start running.
“But it is early November and he is an important member of the Crystal Palace squad. He fits where he is and there is no need to change him. We are happy that he feels so good.”