Chelsea star centre-half Antonio Rudiger looks set to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer. But Chelsea academy graduate Reece James has stepped up massively this term in various different positions across the backline and he could be the perfect replacement for the outgoing Antonio Rudiger.
Reece James has featured in various different positions across the backline this term. He has featured as the right-sided centre-half, right wing-back, and right-back in a back four this term. The 22-year-old has made a total of 31 appearances across all competitions. In this time he has recorded an impressive six goals and seven assists. (stats via Transfermarkt)
Both Reece James and Antonio Rudiger have played massive parts in Thomas Tuchel’s successive time with the London side. The German centre-half has been ever-consistent as ever in the Thomas Tuchel’s backline. While Reece James has missed a chunk of the season due to an injury setback. But since making his comeback from injury, James has once again shown his class.
The England international featured as an out and out right-back in the quarter-finals against Real Madrid in the Champions League. While he featured as a right-sided centre-half in the Fa Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace last week. Despite playing in different positions, James excelled in both positions in recent games. The right back’s speed and physicality down the right flank are unmatched in the Chelsea squad.
Thomas Tuchel’s verdict on Reece James’ best position
In a recent interview, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel talked about Reece James’ best position in the backline, he said:
“In between there – he can play as a right wing-back for us. He had big games and big impact with goals and assists from this position,”
“He played in the back three last season against Leicester [City] when we had [to deal with] the speed of Vardy on the far left side, and from Vinicius, and handled things perfectly well. So these are the two positions where I see him and where he has a huge impact. He’s still young, and you see what we missed for so many weeks.”
There is no doubt that Reece James has a very bright future ahead of him in a Chelsea shirt. But with the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen looking likely to leave the club on a free transfer next summer. Reece James looks like the most ideal candidate to feature across different positions and help his side.
Follow us on Twitter for regular football updates.