Hudson-Odoi reveals why she’s hit the gym, reflects on the ‘strange’ injury issues that ruined her season, and looks ahead to her first trip to the US | News | Official site

As the Chelsea players cross the Atlantic to Los Angeles for the first leg of our pre-season tour of the US, we caught up with Callum Hudson-Odoi to discuss his summer job and the uncertainty surrounding injuries affected him last period. and his first trip to the United States.

At just 21 years old, the Londoner has already racked up an impressive 126 appearances for the Blues since his senior debut in January 2018. However, a positive start to the 2021/22 campaign was ultimately thwarted by an Achilles tendon injury that it became something more worrisome. and problematic, as the winger explains in this exclusive interview.

Hudson-Odoi made 28 appearances for Thomas Tuchel’s men last term and assisted Romelu Lukaku’s first goal in the Club World Cup final, but has not played since early March, leading to an intense summer. work in preparation for an important preseason.

A cheerful and popular figure at Cobham, where he has now been based for 15 years after rising through the Academy ranks, even Hudson-Odoi’s positive disposition was tested by the frustrations of his spring struggles. However, his commitment to staying in shape during the offseason has been commendable and he is now paying off as he looks to shine in the City of Angels…

Callum, welcome back! The sun is out and the boys are back to training, how has the week been so far?

‘The atmosphere is good, everyone is smiling and happy to be back. The trainer is back this week and you can see that everyone in the group just wants to do their best, get fit as fast as possible and feel strong.

“We’re all doing great and happy to see everyone back so I’m enjoying it.”

Since they spend so much time together during the season, does it feel like the first day back at school after summer break?

“When you come back from a big break and you’ve been spending time with friends that you don’t really see that often during the season, and these guys that you see and play with every day are also doing their own thing, it’s quite a stir. to see everyone back together.

“We’re all catching up on what we’ve been up to and where we’ve gone, so it’s a good feeling. We’ve got most of the guys back, but not all of them yet, and I think it will be very important for all of us to get back in the group, get back together quickly and try to play our best football like we normally do.”

We have seen on your social networks that you have been practically working during the summer holidays…

“All summer I’ve been trying to build my strength and fitness, just focusing on really getting back to myself. I’ve been here for the last five of the six weeks with only a week off and it’s good to know I started early to get as fit as possible before the guys came back. I definitely feel much stronger. There is also a new cut for me, a new style for a new season.

What’s the thinking behind that, especially spending so much time in the gym working on upper body strength?

‘My main goal this summer and throughout the season is to get stronger. There were times in last year’s season when I was running with the ball and I felt like I could be taken off it or that I wasn’t as strong as I thought.

“I’ve been putting more muscle into training to make sure I get bigger so when opponents come I know I’m strong enough to stop them, or they won’t push me and I can push.” them instead.’

Of course, this all follows a difficult second half of the season for you with only nine appearances since January and your last game against Luton Town in March due to injury. Tell us a bit more about those fitness problems because they were more complicated than many people thought…

‘It was weird. It was a neurological thing where I had a sprained nerve in my back and it spread throughout my body, making it difficult for me to retain my muscles. There was really no power in my legs and everything was like ‘woah’. He was trying to pass the ball 10 yards but he had no power and he couldn’t even do it.

“I think it was also something after the coronavirus in December, which I couldn’t believe because it had been so long before. The problem started with my Achilles tendon and then I was trying to use other parts of my body to compensate for it, so for example when I ran, I didn’t run on my toes as much because my Achilles power wasn’t as strong. .

“I was trying to find another way to run and then it started to affect my back, but everything is fine now.” My Achilles tendon is strong again and my back is strong so everything is perfect. It’s one of those things, but I’m glad to be back and having all my power, strength and speed back is all I could ever want.

It’s not the first frustrating injury layoff you’ve had in recent years, so how difficult is it to deal with those spells?

‘It’s hard. When I suffered my first Achilles tendon injury, we played matches week after week and I had fun playing in the Europa League quarter-finals. There was a lot of hype thinking that he might be involved in the semifinals and the final, so getting an injury like that was really disappointing.

“With this one, it’s one of those things and injuries happen, but my main goal for the rest of my career is to stay injury-free as much as possible.” I’m trying to do the right things to make sure that I’m 100 percent and that I can give my best in every game.”

Your best form last season came in the fall playing on the left, providing goals and assists during a run of 10 games out of 11 in which the team won eight. How do you plan to get back to that place now?

‘I want to play as much as possible. Regular football emphasizes consistency, so I want to keep playing and playing as long as I can. Playing those 10 of 11 games in my preferred position on the left side was huge for me because that’s where I know I can be at my best and do what I do as much as possible.

“We were winning games, first in the league and everything was going well, so having an injury like that hits you hard but at the same time it motivates you to come back and get back to where you were before.”

Looking ahead to our next trip to the US, it’s an exciting time both on and off the pitch. What do you want from the tour?

I haven’t been before, so it will be my first time in America. It’s a good place to go and the weather is warm so it will be a good environment to work. I’ve wanted to go for a while, but couldn’t because of injuries and stuff, so it’s definitely going to be a nice thing. and to go as a group too.

“All the guys will be getting together to go out together, so it will be good to see them and catch up, but at the same time we have to get down to business and get the season going.”

Amidst that excitement and a lot of talk about a new era at Chelsea, is that the feeling in the dressing room too or are you focused on other things?

“To be fair, right now it feels like a new season. Not much has changed for us and we try to stay out of it as much as possible. We want to stay focused on training and games and do the best we can.

“When we see all those things, we notice it, but at the same time we want to focus more on our football and that’s what we’re going to try to do for the next few weeks.”

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