'Good news for England': Martin Keown makes Reece James claim after goal and assist for Chelsea today

Martin Keown has said Chelsea’s Reece James has been the outstanding English right-back this season.

James, who’s now back playing after recovering from a hamstring problem, grabbed a goal and assist during Chelsea’s 4-0 Premier League win away to Burnley on Saturday.

The 22-year-old unleashed a powerful low finish to get on the scoresheet, as well as put a delivery across the penalty box to assist teammate Kai Havertz.

It’s usually more of a wing-back role for Chelsea than a conventional right-back, but he’s got all the attributes of a modern full-back with his offensive and defensive qualities.

Pundit Keown claims James has been the outstanding English right-back, even ahead of Manchester City’s Kyle Walker. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold bizarrely hasn’t been mentioned in that elite bracket, too.

“Reece James has been missed when he’s been out [by Chelsea], but he looked fully fit there after his hamstring injury,” Keown said (4:11pm).

“That’s good news for England looking ahead – surely James has been our best right-back this season ahead of Walker?”

Photo by Chelsea Football Club/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Big England career ahead

For James, he’s got 10 senior England caps to date during the reign of Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate. There should be so many more over time, though.

Man City’s Walker has been the preferred right-back in the last few years for England, which is fair enough when you look at his performance on the international stage.

However, James should get that starting position nailed down soon.

The regular comparison is between James and Alexander-Arnold, who are both absolute dynamite in their own way.

Of course, it’s not a surprise to hear we’d lean towards the Chelsea man as the overall package that is excellent at everything. You can’t deny the outrageous attacking quality of Alexander-Arnold, though.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.