England are going through another generation of ridiculous talent ahead of Euro 2020. The now notoriously labelled ‘golden generation’ failed to progress in major tournaments despite arguably being the best squad of individuals in world football at the time. But the hopes for the next decade or so lie on a group of exciting players. Rashford, Abraham, Sterling, Maddison, Loftus Cheek, Gomez, Grealish. The list goes on. But the strength in depth at right back for the Three Lions is IMMENSE. Everyone knows Trent Alexander-Arnold is a generational talent and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a tackling machine. But Reece James deserves some plaudits too.
The Chelsea right back has burst onto the scene in 2019/20. A part of Frank Lampard’s exciting young squad, he’s managed to displace Azpilicueta as the first team right back. In just half a season might I add. Granted the Spaniard is starting to get on a bit. However, for James, who was in the Championship last season and just recovered from a serious injury, to come in and shift the club captain to left back is impressive. Though I feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, partly because of the competition in his field.
Trent is outstanding. A truly ridiculous right back, arguably the best in the world. We did a whole article on him HERE, if you’re interested. The Liverpool youth product’s ridiculous technical ability and football intelligence means he outshines everyone. He could play in midfield with some of the passes he makes. Though a criticism of the fullback, is he needs to work on his defensive game
Then there’s Wan Bissaka. The polar opposite to Alexander-Arnold. The Manchester United defender is excellent defensively. Of course that stat from last season of hardly being dribbled past. Then even if players get past him, his ability to recover and time last ditch tackles perfectly almost every time is brilliant. But unlike Trent, he needs to work on his game going forward. His crossing in particular leaves a lot to be desired.
That’s quite obvious to Premier League fans. But Reece James isn’t talked about enough. He should be in that England conversation for right back. I personally hope Trent goes into midfield and the 20-year-old competes with AWB for that place. Otherwise we’ll end up wasting one of the 3 best young fullbacks in Europe.
Reece James – Style of Play
Yes everyone looks world class on a YouTube highlight reel. But the Chelsea youth product, if you watch him in games, looks like a top player in the making.
6ft tall with great physical strength, he’s difficult to push off the ball, often using his body well to hold off the attacker. On top of that, the athleticism to go forward with such pace combined with his height makes him so hard to stop.
Going forward, James is brilliant. As shown in the video, his final ball from out wide is dangerous to say the least, and his driving runs are that of a younger Kyle Walker. Reece has a top notch combination of both Alexander-Arnold and Wan-Bissaka’s assets and, with more game time, he could easily become the complete full back.
As long as Reece James is allowed maximum game time and can stay without injury for an extended spell of games, there is no reason why the Chelsea defender can become England’s number one full-back and one of the world’s greatest. We wish him all the best for the season…
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