Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has confessed the last 18 months of his career have been challenging, but he's now purely focused on fighting his way back into the Blues' starting lineup.
A £35m bid from Bayern Munich in January 2019 kick-started a whole series of events for Hudson-Odoi, who picked up a devastating Achilles injury soon after. Despite being sidelined, he signed a new long-term contract that summer, but progress upon his return from injury has been slow.
Hudson-Odoi has featured nine time for Chelsea in all competitions this year, but just four of those have come as a starter (and two of those were League Cup games), with the Blues' expensive summer signings all pushing him down the pecking order.
However, the two-time FA Youth Cup winner showed some of his best form on Tuesday in England Under-21's 5-0 win over Albania, bagging a goal and stealing the show, and he insisted after the game that he plans to use that momentum to get things back on track.
“I am only 20! Sometimes people forget the age because I have been around for a while," he said (via Goal). "I started young. I have just turned 20. I have kicked on well and I can keep progressing day in day out.
"The last 18 months have been strange, not something I'd have liked, but we have to deal with it. I want to look to the future and hopefully better things will come. I put pressure on myself. I want to prove myself every time, do my best every game.
"It has been a rollercoaster, up and down, up and down. But stuff like that you move on from and think of the present and the future.
"For myself, I want to make sure I am training every day. I am working my hardest, trying to get in the team and working my way back to the senior England team. I keep trying, working. In the last 18 months, I have enjoyed bits and not enjoyed bits. I feel I am getting more confident game by game."
Hudson-Odoi may have a chance to feature in Chelsea's trip to Newcastle United on Saturday, with both Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz expected to miss out, and the winger admitted he's working hard in training to prove he deserves a shot.
"You train hard at Chelsea every day, the managers are always looking and you always want to prove a point that you are ready when called upon," he added. "When I train and play in games, I want to score, assist, work hard for the team and always improve myself on the pitch and to prove a point as well.
"No matter what it is, I want to give 100%, keep trying and staying positive. I have the right people behind me, giving me the right instructions and keeping me grounded. I am really happy with the people in the background with that and I want to get back into the team."