Gary Neville's instant reaction after Reece James is ruled out of the World Cup
The Englishman had hoped that his rehabilitation had put him on the way to being fit enough to represent his country at some point in the tournament.
However, it was reported that Gareth Southgate had personally got in touch with him to explain that he couldn’t risk his fitness by taking him to Qatar.
This has obviously left James heartbroken, as shown in his statement which he put on all forms of social media.
Teammates and pundits were quick to jump to the support of the 22-year-old. He was almost certain to be the starting option for the right-back position.
One of these was Neville, who has his own share of experience of missing international tournaments.
Neville supports James
The former Manchester United man missed the 2002 World Cup due to injury, and was quick to send support to James going through it this year.
He said: “It will feel like a huge disappointment today but it’s part of the journey. You will play in more World Cups with the talent you have.”
Chelsea fans meanwhile will be secretly somewhat pleased that there will be no risks taken to his fitness over the next month or so.
They have endured first-hand the issues of not having the world-class option available on the right of defence.
Graham Potter has elected to use Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and even Raheem Sterling in the wing-back role, with the latter being limited greatly as he tries to adapt to his new position.
With James targeting a return during the training camp in Abu Dhabi, the Blues will be pushing hard for him to be fit for the second half of the season starting on Boxing Day.