Thomas Tuchel challenges Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz to step up and fill Chelsea’s attacking void in the wake of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner injuries after duo impressed as subs for the strikers in Europe

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  • Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku with injuries this week against Malmö
  • Callum Hudson-Odoi has played just two hours of league action this term
  • While Kai Havertz has started only four games in the Premier League this season
  • Thomas Tuchel now challenges both to step up amid Chelsea injury

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Thomas Tuchel has issued the most obvious challenges for Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz to advance Chelsea’s attacking void.

Both are disappointed with limited performances this season, but with Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic all injured, they could take the chance against Norwich on Saturday.

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“It’s a big opportunity, not a small opportunity,” said Chelsea boss Tuchel. ‘Romelu’s got a lot of minutes, Timo’s got a lot of minutes. Now is the time to step up. Its as simple as that.

Kai Havertz has started only four games in the Premier League this season
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Thomas Tuchel believes Callum Hudson-Odoi (left) and Kai Havertz should step down to the Blues

Romelu Lukaku twisted his ankle during the first half of Wednesday night's game

Romelu Lukaku twisted his ankle during the first half of Wednesday night’s game

While Timo Werner also suffered a hamstring injury during Chelsea's 4-0 win

While Timo Werner also suffered a hamstring injury during Chelsea’s 4-0 win

‘That’s what they’ve been waiting for. Now it’s their responsibility, here we go. Will have to show them. They have our trust, our support and it is up to them.

Hudson-Odoi has played a little over two hours in the Premier League this season and Tuchel would like to see the talented 20-year-old recognize the opportunity and perform with more consistency.

The Chelsea boss said, ‘It’s only a turning point if he makes it a turning point. ‘He has to prove it. He needs to play the next 250 matches at the highest level and then we can say that it was.

Tuchel (right) believes the injured pair's absence is a good opportunity for Hudson-Odois

Tuchel (right) believes the injured pair’s absence is a good opportunity for Hudson-Odois

‘It will be a turning point if he not only has a good match, a good half, 60 good minutes but also if he does it consistently.’

It was a similar message for 22-year-old Havertz, who scored last season to win the Champions League but has started only four games in the Premier League.

‘He got the minutes he deserved,’ Tuchel said. “There is only one way to build a team and that is performance. There is no other way. never was and never will be.

Havertz finished the Champions League final this year, but this time has seen hardly any action in the Premier League

Havertz finished the Champions League final this year, but this time has seen hardly any action in the Premier League

‘Kai was not at his highest personal level. The other players were close to him and we were winning, so it was necessary that he wait. He did what he needed to do, worked hard and showed some resilience and determination to be more decisive in training.

‘He’s very talented and dangerous. He has so much potential, he needs to be shown.

Havertz and Hudson-Odoi impressed on Wednesday to come up against Malmö to replace Lukaku, who had damaged ankle ligaments, and Werner suffered a hamstring injury.

Tuchel gave no details about the severity of his injuries other than being ruled out of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup match against Southampton, and declined to admit it was a disguise for him to take a break from the relentless schedule. May there be a blessing.

He said, ‘It’s never a good thing. ‘They are both in treatment and feeling positive. They are not too worried.

‘They are definitely out of the next two games and then we will see.’

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