Chelsea defender Reece James was heavily involved during England’s 1-0 defeat to Denmark on Wednesday night, as he was arguably the most creative threat for his side, plus he was sent off after the final whistle for descent towards the referee.
The Three Lions were beaten in the Nations League courtesy of a Christian Eriksen penalty in the first-half, but the hosts had to play two-thirds of the contest at Wembley a man down after Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire was sent off.
James, 20, was given his first start for England’s senior team and his behaviour after the final whistle should not cloud over the fact he had a brilliant individual display, as he led the way for some of his struggling teammates.
The Blues academy graduate slotted into a right wing-back role and delivered so many accurate crosses into the box, plus he linked up nicely in the wide areas with club teammate Mason Mount, who gave a good account of himself as well.
James knows he’s got a gigantic job on his hands to dislodge Trent Alexander-Arnold from the England XI, but the wing-back role arguably suits him better and he’s now in Southgate’s good books.
He needs to carry that confidence into his Chelsea form and start building a real run of consistent performances, as there is no doubt he’s got the ability, strength and maturity to do that.
The right-back is battling alongside club captain Cesar Azpilicueta for a starting position and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod this weekend against Southampton in the Premier League.
James posted a heartfelt message on his Instagram after England’s defeat and claimed his dismissal will make him stronger, which also prompted response from Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham.
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Tonight’s game was full of emotion, desire and hunger. Proud to have made my full senior debut in such a testing game. I take full responsibility for the Red card after the final whistle. Moments like this will make me stronger, I’ll continue to put in 100% day in day out to keep improving! Thank you for your continued support, I love you all!