Reports have claimed that Reece James is aiming to be involved in a friendly for Chelsea during their training camp in Abu Dhabi next month.

According to The Athletic, the 22-year-old will be out there with the rest of the first team players not selected for international duty.

James has had a whirlwind few weeks with the World Cup just days away.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Gareth Southgate is set to name his squad to take to the tournament tomorrow, however the Chelsea defender won’t be one of the names to make the list.

This is despite his personal confidence that he will be fit in time to feature in the latter stages of the competition.

The heartbreak came as a result of what looked a fairly innocuous injury against AC Milan.

James targeting injury return

However, the diagnosis ended up being multiple months on the sideline, stopping him in his tracks in what had been a sensational campaign so far.

Now, The Athletic have claimed that the Blues man is targeting featuring in a friendly during the camp in Abu Dhabi as he pushes to return following the World Cup.

Graham Potter has been severely missing the 22-year-old since he fell to injury. Results have fallen off a cliff since then in the Premier League.

Photo by Steve Bardens – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

He has tried to use Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Cesar Azpilicueta and even Raheem Sterling in the role since he dropped to injury, however all of these have been met with limitations.

Chelsea fans should ultimately be relieved then that his fitness is not being risked by Gareth Southgate for the tournament, despite being objectively the strongest option in the position when fit.

His importance to his club side has been so obvious in the time he’s been missing, and they can’t afford for that to continue going forwards into the new year.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.