Chelsea starlet Reece James urged to change position because of Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold
Chelsea starlet Reece James has been urged to become accustomed to playing in the centre of defence to realise his England ambitions amid competition from Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
James, 20, is enjoying a breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge, making 20 appearances under Blues legend Frank Lampard and staking his claim for an England call-up.
But in Alexander-Arnold, James faces competition from one of the best right-backs in world football and a player who helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season and looks set to win the Premier League in the coming months.
‘If I was Reece, I might be clever and try and to start playing centre half or something because Alexander-Arnold is going to be a hard man to lodge out of that position the way that he’s playing at the moment,’ Chelsea hero Frank Sinclair told Genting Bet.
‘But it’s internationals and you need world-class players in every position if you want to really seriously challenge at that level.
‘So to have someone like Reece James, who will fight for that second slot as the natural right-back, that’s a good thing for England.
‘The one thing about Reece that will get him into England squads regularly is his adaptability, he can play centre-half, he can play right-back, he can play central midfield.
‘He came back off a great loan period at Wigan, where for the second half of that loan spell, he played in midfield and was unbelievable in there as well.
‘When I spoke to Jody Morris after a FA Youth Cup victory for Chelsea a couple of seasons ago, he touched on how good Reece James was.
‘He was saying Callum Hudson-Odoi gets a lot of the plaudits, but Reece James is just unbelievable.
‘So now he’s coming to fruition and I can see him kicking on and being in Chelsea’s team for the next ten years or so and being a real mainstay.’
James was also hailed by Paul Merson earlier in the season, with the Arsenal hero comparing him to Manchester United and England legend David Beckham.
‘He crosses the ball as well as David Beckham used to,’ Merson told Sky Sports last month. ‘His crosses very rarely go to waste.
‘He always does the right thing. He’s a forward’s dream. He whips the ball in on a consistent basis. It’s David Beckham-like.
‘That’s exactly how Beckham used to hit the ball. His defending will get better but going forward he’s great.
‘I think he’s the best kid at Chelsea right now and he could still get into the England squad for Euro 2020. I would give him a chance.’