'Just a machine': Owen Hargreaves totally blown away by Chelsea player that is 'perfect'

Owen Hargreaves has praised Chelsea star Reece James by describing him as a “machine”.

James, 22, started and played the full game on Wednesday night against Red Bull Salzburg.

It was Graham Potter’s first game in charge since becoming the new Blues head coach, so it was a fairly tough assignment in the Champions League.

Chelsea were eventually held to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge by Salzburg, which means they have a lot of work to do in the Champions League group stages.

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Reece James a machine

Chelsea and England star James caught the eye last night in his preferred right wing-back position.

“Reece is just a machine down that right-hand side. He’s perfect,” Hargreaves told BT Sport 2 (11:05pm, 14 September)

Fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand added: “This is the difference maker for me; he can turn defence into attack, control that right-hand side all on his own.”

It’s nothing new hearing pundits shower James in praise because he’s so often one of Chelsea’s standout performers.

The first game of Potter’s reign indicates that James will be an important player moving forward, so it’s an exciting prospect to see how he gets the best out of him as an attacking threat.

His defensive game is usually solid with pace and power, while any minor errors will be ironed out with more experience. He offers so much to the Chelsea line-up with what he brings on the right wing, too.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea put faith in James recently by rewarding him with a new long-term contract, and any manager at the club would be a fool not to play him.

His position last night as an advanced wing-back is something that suits his game.

For Potter, he knows he’s got the full-back options in his squad to play with a 3-4-3. He’s shown a willingness in his managerial career to be flexible in formations, though.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.