Ferdinand feels Chelsea ace and PL rival will be 'fighting' each other for the 'rest of their careers'

Rio Ferdinand believed that Reece James from Chelsea and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold will be directly contesting an England spot for a long time, speaking on Rio Ferdinand Presents Five.

James and Alexander-Arnold are domestic rivals because of their respective allegiances at club level.

But the battle of Blue against Reds goes beyond the Premier League.

The young duo have been jostling for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad as one of the right-back options.

It was James who came out on top following the latest Three Lions announcement.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Chelsea’s talented defender was included in the World Cup qualifiers later this month, with Alexander-Arnold dropped from the fold completely.

Ferdinand did question Southgate’s decision to drop the Liverpool man in place of James, a dilemma he will have to face for as long as he’s the manager of England.

“I love Reece James don’t get me wrong and I think he’ll be fighting Trent for that position for the rest of their careers, I believe that,” said the ex-Manchester United centre-back.

“But Reece hasn’t been a regular in the team.”

It is true that James hasn’t been a permanent fixture under Thomas Tuchel.

The 21-year-old has started six of the 13 games for Chelsea’s new manager.

Photo by Paul Childs – Pool/Getty Images

Meanwhile, on Merseyside, Alexander-Arnold is rarely overlooked by Jurgen Klopp.

But the form of both players differs considerably.

Alexander-Arnold’s performances come in waves, whilst James is consistently solid whenever called upon.

Southgate seemingly shares this view, as he opts for Blue over Red on this occasion.

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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.