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‘I love him’: Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea star is absolutely brilliant in two positions

‘I love him’: Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea star is absolutely brilliant in two positions

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has praised his player Reece James, calling him as “brilliant in two positions.”

James, 22, has created a reputation for himself as a full-back in what has been an exciting start to his young career.

The Englishman is a huge offensive danger in a wing-back role for Chelsea, having already scored six goals and made seven assists this season.

However, he’s demonstrated in recent games how effective he can be as a center-back.

The England international has filled in as a right-sided centre-half in a back three, where he has faced off against Vinicius Junior and Wilfried Zaha in one-on-one duels.

With his strength and pace, he’s a strong defender who attackers despise, as he’s demonstrated in recent weeks against Real Madrid and Crystal Palace.

Tuchel says that he isn’t sure which role James is better suited for. He’s explained that putting him in the back three makes more sense for his injury recuperation.

“I think the back three is less demanding physically in comparison to the wing-back position,” Tuchel explained.

“Given he comes back from a long injury, a muscle injury, with the risk of a re-injury over so many weeks, it is a bit of an advantage to have him in a back three because it is less demanding physically

“This is the next step: how many games can he play at wing-back if he plays wing-back during a season, and at a level where he is reliable and decisive? It [right centre-back] is less demanding physically in terms of accelerations, long acceleration, and high speed on a back three.

“That helps us have him on the pitch for more minutes. That’s why he plays in there. He can play both positions brilliantly. We only have him once so we need to decide but that’s the reason at the moment. I love him in both positions. I’m not sure (what his best position is).”

If you only look at individual potential, Chelsea’s James and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold have to be two of the most brilliant players in the England group.

To accommodate both, Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate might play James at centre-back while Alexander-Arnold plays further up the pitch at wing-back. 

The inclusion of Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, on the other hand, throws a wrench in the works.

Chelsea are extremely lucky to have James come through their academy, as he has the potential to be a major player in the Blues XI for the next decade.


‘I love him’: Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea star is absolutely brilliant in two positions

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