Chelsea will reportedly rest Reece James today and leave him out of the squad against Southampton.
Chelsea host the Saints on Saturday afternoon in a Premier League game, with the Blues desperate to end a run of three consecutive draws in the top division.
James, who’s started the last three matches since returning from a knee problem, could be given the weekend off.
The 23-year-old is one of the team’s most important players, giving them so much from the right-back position.
However, everyone should be wary of losing him for another period of time because he’s had a couple of injury absences already this season.
According to The Athletic, Graham Potter and his coaching staff have decided to leave James out of Chelsea’s 20-man matchday squad against Southampton.
It is understood that the England international has had more minutes than originally planned in the last couple of weeks. He followed up an hour against Fulham with back-to-back 90 minutes against West Ham and Borussia Dortmund.
The report explains that the Blues hope resting the full-back on Saturday will allow him to play in big games against Tottenham, as well as the second leg against Dortmund, in the upcoming weeks.
In our view, Potter is making a tough but correct call here.
James is such an influential figure in the Chelsea line-up that you want him on the field at all times, but the risk of overdoing his workload is too great.
Some will argue the right-back needs to play today because the Blues can’t buy a win right now. However, there should be more than enough quality in this stacked squad to perform against strugglers Southampton.
James recently confessed that he knows his minutes need to be managed a little carefully, so it looks the smart play this weekend.
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