22-year-old Chelsea player named in Champions League Team of the Group Stages

Reece James really has been on a roll this season.

Five goals and as many assists in 17 appearances is the icing on a very sweet cake for the England international.

Now, an extra layer of frosting has been applied.

WhoScored.com included the full-back in their Champions League statistical XI of the group stages.

Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chelsea’s Champions League hero

James was the only member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad to earn a place in the team.


It’s no great surprise the defender made the cut.

He featured in four of the six group games, starting three of them.

Easily his most impressive display came against Juventus on match-day five at Stamford Bridge.

Not only did he slam home Chelsea’s second of the evening, the right wing-back completely dominated the Serie A side from start to finish.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

The Juve players tasked with halting James crumbled every single time, unable to prevent his powerful runs and precise crosses.

His goal tally could have been doubled had he converted past Zenit St Petersburg on opening night.

From Russia with love

In the reverse fixture with the Russians, the 22-year-old featured as a central midfielder, due to the many absences of those regularly stationed in that position.

Despite not being deployed on his natural right flank, James certainly held his own during the 3-3 draw on Wednesday.

After the match, Owen Hargreaves saved special praise for the Chelsea youngster.

Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images

“Powerful. He can cover ground, play on his own, get up against people one-vs-one, he’s such a great player,” said the former Manchester United man.

Thomas Tuchel will need James to continue his form in the knockout stages, where the Blues could face Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Ajax or Lille.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.