Jamie Redknapp has criticised Chelsea star Reece James for one moment last night, as he claimed the youngster panicked defensively to help allow Leicester City a crucial second goal.
Chelsea suffered a 2-0 loss on the road away to Leicester City on Tuesday night.
It was yet another disappointing performance from the Blues, as Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison scored for the Foxes.
Sky Sports pundit Redknapp believes that Chelsea full-back James was largely at fault for Maddison’s goal.
The 21-year-old right-back failed to track Leicester playmaker Maddison, who had so much time to pick his spot in the penalty box.
Unfortunately, James was caught ball watching when Leicester lifted a ball forward and that allowed Maddison the time time to find space.
“I really like Reece James, great crosser but the basics of learning to be a right back are gonna be crucial,” Redknapp said on Sky Sports’ Main Event channel (10:25pm, 19 January).
“When you are a right back, Gary Neville’s first thought would have been what is the worst-case scenario? James gambles – you cannot gamble as a defender.
“I’m not trying to dig him out, he is knowledgeable, but it is the basics of football – he walks, then jogs, then sprints because there is a panic.
“It was a lovely finish from (James) Maddison but you should not get in that position. I see players flying forward but jogging back, too many times that happened. If he wants to get better, he needs to learn from this.”
The Chronicle View
Aged 21, James has a massive future ahead of him at Chelsea.
He is an all-action right-back that has at times this season looked incredible.
But his return from injury last night didn’t go smoothly, as he was dreadfully caught out of position for the second goal.
He looked one of the more attacking threats going forward and forced a decent save from Kasper Schmeichel, but it’s clear the defensive side of his game still needs some work on.
James was given a tough examination from left-winger Harvey Barnes throughout the contest and it should be a big learning experience for him.