Much is expected of those who have been given much. This was as true in Biblical times as in the French Revolution, or in the pages and pictures of Spider-man ... or on the pitches of Cobham, where a certain starboy roams free under the watchful eyes of Thomas “Uncle Ben” Tuchel these days.
“With big talent comes a big responsibility to use your talent to go and be ready to make the next step even if it is just a little step forward.”
Hudson-Odoi has appeared in twelve straight games, the longest active appearance streak on the team, starting four of the last five with Tuchel in charge. Whether at wing-back or a more familiar wing-forward position, the 20-year-old has been showing signs of the same old spark we saw before his unfortunate Achilles injury a couple years ago.
But of course we don’t just want him to get back to those levels. We want him, we need him to keep growing and developing from there.
“All I care about with how Callum works on his talent. [...] He can be, when in his comfort zone, showing composure in front of goal by scoring or getting assists. But, at Under-17s level, U19, U20 and Premier League there are steps to go forward. This is clearly his next step to becoming a regular player. To be on a certain level all the time.”
This is a very similar message to the one Frank Lampard had been sending the young winger, but the one crucial difference, at least so far, has been that Tuchel has unreservedly placed his trust in the kid, giving him all the minutes he can handle, with the responsibilities to match. Hudson-Odoi has already made as many Premier League starts under Tuchel, three, as under Lampard this season.
“Sometimes in difficult phases, it can be a challenge to hold the level, not just improve but hold it to make the next step. We will be at his side because he has had a very good start. Now it is a challenge to show this every minute and every day.
“This is clearly the next step, to rely not only on match minutes but show that spirit in every minute here at Cobham that it become routine for him.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Goal
Having talent is one thing. Applying that talent consistently is what separates the top players from the rest. Hudson-Odoi’s still very young and quite inexperienced, even when compared with some of his Chelsea Academy peers in the first-team squad. But as he closes in on 100 senior appearances (currently on 85), those expectations will once again start going up.
If he can meet them, we’re in for a treat.