Chelsea have no current plans to send Callum Hudson-Odoi on loan, despite boss Thomas Tuchel admitting the talented forward needs regular game time.
Hudson-Odoi asked to be excluded from England Under-21s selection, with the 20-year-old determined to fight for regular first-team action at Chelsea.
Tuchel has been impressed with Hudson-Odoi’s hard work and performance levels in training but admitted the Wandsworth-born winger has not yet reproduced that level in match action.
Asked if Hudson-Odoi needs regular minutes to progress, Tuchel replied: “It’s hard to argue with that, it’s hard to argue.
“But at the same time there’s always room for improvement here in training and within this club.
“It’s hard to argue with the opinion that he needs regular game time to improve his personal level.
“At the same time, it’s not only about letting players go. If we want to compete in all competitions, it’s also about numbers.
“I have the feeling that Callum decided to fight for his place here.
“He had a very, very good pre-season, of course we are aware that he fights for an offensive position, more than maybe the wing-back position.
“If you do the maths you end up with a lot of guys for the three offensive positions.
“So it’s a huge challenge for him, but the door is always open to sneak through and to make your way. And it can happen any time for offensive players.
“At the moment there is no loan.”
Hudson-Odoi might be battling for game time at his academy club, but Tuchel has hailed his mature, composed attitude both on and off the field.
“From the first day in pre-season I saw him on a different level, but struggling a bit to produce the same performances on the pitch,” said Tuchel.
“To be absolutely fair I have to say that sometimes we use him as a wing-back on the right side, which is for me not the very best position for him.
“He waits. This is far enough. He waits for a regular chance on the half-left position, but he fights against Mason Mount, against Kai Havertz, against Hakim Ziyech, against Christian Pulisic.
“When the door opens a little bit we demand he puts his feet in between it and makes his mark. This can happen any time.
“He is not happy with his situation and he will find that he gets frustrated at times, but he never, ever brings his frustration to work – not one single day.
“He is a super nice guy in the dressing room and an absolutely positive guy.
“He is struggling on the sporting side because there is a lot of competition in his positions, but he never puts it on us or his team-mates.”