'Outstanding': Carragher hails Chelsea star who made an 'immediate impact' for his country
Jamie Carragher was gracious in his words about Reece James after the Chelsea ace was selected for England’s World Cup qualifiers this month, writing for the Telegraph.
Carragher may have ushered his words through gritted teeth because James secured one of the places usually held for Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Gareth Southgate decided against calling up the Reds full-back and opted for a Blue version instead.
England have three fixtures to contest at the end of March, all to be used as a trial for those wishing to make this summer’s European Championship squad.
Although Carragher was in general disagreement with Southgate’s decision over Alexander-Arnold’s omission, he accepted that James had demonstrated more for the national side.
The former Liverpool defender admitted: “And then there is the player who made such a big immediate impression on Southgate, Chelsea’s Reece James.
“James’ first England performances were outstanding – better than Alexander-Arnold’s in the wing-back role.
“From that moment, Trent had a direct rival for his position and a serious problem.”
James has only been capped four times for the senior Three Lions but made a bold impression in his quartet of appearances.
His performances at club level have been of a similar elk, as the 21-year-old gradually begins to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea’s talented right-back was removed from Aidy Boothroyd’s U21 England team for the upcoming European Championship group stage fixtures, allowing him to be part of Southgate’s set-up.
It is a sign of Alexander-Arnold’s decline and James’ rise that the latter was selected ahead of his compatriot.
This can also be reflected in Liverpool and Chelsea’s differing fortunes.
Tuchel has turned the Blues into serious European challengers, whilst Jurgen Klopp is rueing the worst period of his Reds managerial career.