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Roman Abramovich’s gift to save Chelsea £31m can open a new Reece James role for Thomas Tuchel

Roman Abramovich’s gift to save Chelsea £31m can open a new Reece James role for Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel’s tactical genius propelled Chelsea to the brink of a Champions League semi-final. 

The German’s strategy centered on neutralizing Real Madrid’s star-studded attack.

Reece James, who replaced Andreas Christensen on the right side of a back-three, was a critical cog in the west London side’s machine. 

When Vinicius Jr ran riot in the first leg, the Danish international fought to keep his head above water.

While it meant that the Blues had to give up some of James’ final-third prowess, Tuchel’s team was able to neutralize the Brazil international to near-perfect effect.

The Cobham graduate, who worked in a relatively new function, impressed Los Blancos’ hierarchy, according to Spanish site Bernabeu Digital.

Despite James’ attempts, Carlo Ancelotti’s team eventually broke through down the right flank after Eduardo Camavinga collected Thiago Silva’s wayward ball.

Real Madrid deposed Chelsea when the England international, through no fault of his own, found himself hugging the touchline and beyond Vinicius Jr.

Rio Ferdinand stated on BT Sport after the game that the winger’s lone contribution of the evening came when James was unable to extinguish the threat. According to the former Manchester United defender:
“The goal that has brought the game level is the only time Reece James has not been in front of Vinicius Junior.

“This was the first time during the whole game that you saw Vinicius Junior running at someone else other than Reece James,” Ferdinand added.

“What I love about his involvement in the goal is his patience. He is patient, waiting, waiting and waiting, and when you look at his eyes, the only person he is looking for is Benzema. That is the only person he wants to pass the ball to.”

James excelled on the right side of Chelsea’s back three, sparking a debate ahead of the summer transfer season.

If Tuchel intends to make the 22-year-old a permanent fixture in that position, future club owners should make it a priority to buy a world-class backup.

According to Sky Sports, the Blues made an official approach of £56.1 million for Achraf Hakimi in June before losing out to Paris Saint-Germain.

According to journalist Daniel Riolo on the ‘After Foot show’ on French radio RMC, the Moroccan has opted to depart Les Parc des Princes less than a year after signing.

A player of Hakimi’s pedigree would almost certainly be welcomed by the supporters, but the new Chelsea owners must capitalize on Roman Abramovich’s parting gift.

According to the Athletic, the Blues inserted a buy-back clause in the deal that saw Tino Livramento leave for Southampton in the summer.

The Sun’s Tom Barclay disclosed in August that the clause is worth up to £25 million, albeit there has been no confirmation of an expiry date.

If Chelsea decides to bring back the Cobham graduate, the incoming owners might save £31 million by opting for Livramento over Hakimi.

This season, Livramento has been a favorite of Ralph Hassenhutl, starting whenever he has been fit and contributing a goal and two assists in the Premier League.

The 19-year-old has more than earned a summer return to west London, and it’s a deal that fans have been rooting for.


Roman Abramovich’s gift to save Chelsea £31m can open a new Reece James role for Thomas Tuchel

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