Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Callum Hudson-Odoi sustained a minor injury in Chelsea’s draw with Manchester United but revealed the substitution was partly a ‘tactical choice’.
Hudson-Odoi has been a regular in Chelsea’s starting line-up since Tuchel took over the reins from Frank Lampard last month and he continued his run in the team at right wing-back in Sunday’s goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
Reece James came on to replace Hudson-Odoi at the break and the England star was pictured with strapping around his left thigh as he watched the game from the sidelines.
Asked why Hudson-Odoi was substituted at halftime, Tuchel told reporters: ‘[He was] a little bit injured.
‘The reason [he was replaced] was a tactical reason and a little injury, a combination, because we switched to a back-five in defence and covered the wide position from [Marcus] Rashford in between [Cesar] Azpi and Reece James.
‘In the second half, that was not an option to use Callum there and that’s why it was a tactical choice.’
Tammy Abraham was left out Chelsea’s squad altogether, And when quizzed on why he was omitted, Tuchel told Sky Sports: ‘Selection. We have 21 strong players and only 18 possible in the squad.
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‘Hard decisions, it’s my job to make hard decisions. This was the decision and Tammy was not with the group.’
Tuchel added: ‘At the moment he is only struggling with my decision. We have a strong squad. ‘We have only Thiago Silva injured that means we have to make hard decisions.
‘It was a hard decision. It was about judging the alternatives that we have and we opted for Olivier Giroud to begin, Timo Werner on the bench.
‘We have Kai Havertz who can play as a number nine so there was no need to bring a fourth number nine to the pitch.
‘‘Things are difficult for him. Things are not as easy as they should be for him in the moment and he will get full support. This was the decision.’