CHELSEA star Callum Hudson-Odoi reckons playing as a wing-back has made him a better player, but admits he would rather be picked further forward.
The Blues academy graduate has filled a number of different roles since Thomas Tuchel‘s Stamford Bridge arrival last year.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has had to be versatile for the BluesCredit: AFP
Having come through the ranks as a winger, Hudson-Odoi had to improve the defensive side of his game in order to get minutes as a right wing-back.
And while he appreciates this has improved him as a player, the 21-year-old would rather be utilised in a more natural position.
He told Chelsea’s official website: “I’d definitely say I prefer more-attacking positions for myself, as a winger or a No10 kind of player.
“Obviously I like to be direct and try to create scoring opportunities for the team, hopefully try to score some myself. Playing in that position I’m more comfortable and I feel more free while playing there as well.
“So it’s definitely a nice position, to know that I can go out there, be myself, be free and try to create and score goals as well, but at the same time playing at wing-back is definitely more defensive.
“Your mentality is more about defending the goal than attacking the goal at times.
“In that position you always have to cover for somebody. For example, if the centre-back goes forward you have to cover in, just to make sure and be around.
“So it’s definitely a different position, definitely harder, so I’d say definitely an attacking position is what I prefer.”
Hudson-Odoi also revealed exactly how playing in defence has changed how he thinks on the pitch.
He added: “There are times in a game when I’m playing wing-back and I’m looking forward and thinking I can go forward here, but then I know, just in case, if I do and we then lose the ball and it’s a counter-attack the run back is very far.
“So sometimes you decide to stay back.
“It depends, it’s always different situations in the game where I’m thinking I can go forward here and I can create a chance from this position or even score, but it’s vice versa and it depends on how the scenario is in the game.”
He continued: “I think it’s added more to my defensive side.
“Playing wing-back is more defensive-minded, so you have to judge when to lunge in for a tackle, not just recklessly going in, or making sure you’re in the right position when you’re covering for a team-mate.
“Or if you’re one-on-one against an attacker you just have to make sure you stand your ground and show him outside or inside where there’s more bodies.
“For myself it’s definitely added a defensive side to my game and it helps as well, especially if you’re playing higher up the pitch, for the pressing side and knowing how to defend from the front. So it’s definitely good.”
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Hudson-Odoi has learned plenty from boss Thomas TuchelCredit: Rex
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