'Let's see': Tuchel admits he could do something 'crazy' with 22-year-old Chelsea player on Sunday

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confessed he may consider playing Reece James in this Sunday’s League Cup final, albeit he says it would be a “crazy” decision.

James, 22, hasn’t played since the end of December because of a hamstring problem.

Thankfully, the right wing-back has returned to training and will give the side a major lift when he plays again.

The England international is yet to get any minutes under his belt in 2022, so throwing him into the deep end this weekend would be a gigantic call from his manager.

Chelsea are gearing towards this weekend’s Carabao Cup final against quality opposition Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.

Tuchel hasn’t ruled out starting James against Liverpool due to the fact he’s looked “brilliant” in training. However, the German boss does recognise it would be an extremely risky strategy to recall him to the line-up.

“He looked brilliant in the last two training sessions. Let’s wait another session, and see if I’m crazy enough to put him on the pitch, or if the reasonable side of me wins and we go step by step,” Tuchel said.

“It would be a huge step, but honestly yesterday and today he looked so strong and confident and involved in training, you are tempted to do it. Let’s see. The most important thing for him and us is that he’s back and he feels so confident he can step up to this level.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea should resist temptation

Of course, everyone associated with the Blues wants to see James back on the pitch as soon as possible.

His stock has actually risen in the last few weeks without kicking a ball due to the fact how much they’ve missed his attacking threat out wide.

It is surely too big a risk to play him in two days time, though.

Liverpool are going to attack with plenty of pace and directness out wide through the likes of Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz or Sadio Mane.

A far safer bet could be keeping James in reserve and giving him a comeback appearance in next Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Luton Town.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.