Jamie Carragher has claimed that Reece James should be the first-choice option at right-back for Chelsea moving forward.
The 20-year-old defender is a superb talent to be developed by the Blues academy and he’s been excellent since being integrated to the first-team squad at the beginning of last season.
James is an attack-minded right-back that continues to improve each game with his back to goal and his positioning, while going forward he’s dynamite and his crossing into the box looks world-class.
The youngster recently earned his first two senior international caps for England, but knows he’s got a huge task on his hands to edge out Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold for the full-back position.
He’s started four of the opening six Premier League games so far, but is battling club captain Cesar Azpilicueta for the position.
Carragher believes that defensively Azpilicueta is the best at Stamford Bridge and has suggested a back three system to fit him into the XI, as he’s adamant James has to play.
“For me Reece James has got to be the first-choice right-back now ahead of Azpilicueta. This [back three] system suits them. It gets Azpilicueta in the team, the team’s best defender, and Reece James,” Carragher told Sky Sports’ Main Event channel (7:32pm, 26 October).
James is arguably the most exciting player to come through the Chelsea academy in recent times despite the rise of fellow teammate Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham.
The all-action defender is earning international recognition from England boss Gareth Southgate and he’s surely made it very difficult for club manager Frank Lampard to leave him out of the Chelsea XI moving forward.
He excelled in a right wing-back position at the weekend in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United and it suits him as a player, so perhaps it may be a formation fans see more of moving forward.