Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi says he is not yet fully recovered from an Achilles injury suffered more than 18 months ago.
The 20-year-old ruptured an Achilles tendon playing for the Blues against Burnley in April 2019.
He spent five months on the sidelines, returning to action in September of that year, but the winger believes he has not yet returned to peak condition.
Hudson-Odoi has made 42 appearances in all competitions since his comeback, though he has also struggled with a number of niggling injuries, including a hamstring problem that sidelined him for two months at the start of this year.
“I still feel to myself that I’m still improving, obviously still trying to get more strength in the calf, which I lost a lot of muscle from, but I feel like I’m getting back to my best,” he told BT Sport.
“Hopefully, sooner or later, I’ll be back to normal as I was before, but I just want to keep improving, keep working hard daily and keep getting better day-by-day.”
Hudson-Odoi was speaking after finding the back of the net for England U21s in their 3-1 Euro 2021 qualifying against Andorra on Friday evening.
The winger actually made his senior England debut before featuring for the Young Lions in March 2019, but has not featured for Gareth Southgate’s side for nearly a year.
Hudson-Odoi says he has no issue moving between the youth and senior England teams, though he has set himself target of establishing himself in Southgate’s squad in the near future.
“Of course you want to be in the senior team, you want to be competing up there every time. [But] No matter where I’m playing, I want to give my best no matter what it is,” he added.
“I want to try my best, give my hardest, work hard every day and hopefully get into the seniors.
"If it’s going up and down [between the two squads], I want to make sure that I stay up there, so I’m going to keep working hard, doing my best, and as I said, just keep my mentality strong and just keep working hard.”
Reflecting on the game, Hudson-Odoi admitted the Young Lions had a point to prove after being held to a 3-3 draw away at minnows Andorra last month.
“We went there, and we drew 3-3 which was unfortunate," he said. "We wanted to get the win. Every game we play you want to win no matter what it is, and it was unfortunate to [not] get the win there. So, we’ve come here today to try and prove a point that we needed to get the result.”