Chelsea’s right-winger, Reece James has revealed that he is yet to confirm the role he would play in the current setup of England’s Euro 2020 squad. The 21-year-old English football star said he has trained in three different positions since he joined the squad to start preparing for the European Championship which will kick off later today, June 11, 2021.
Recall that the head coach of England, Gareth Southgate decided to name four world-class right-backs – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, and James in his 26-man squad for Euro 2020.
Unfortunately, Trent got injured during the preparation for the tournament which means that Reece James still has two other right-backs to battle with during the tournament.
In an attempt to experiment with other possibilities that could be utilized during the competition, Reece James said he has trained as a right-back which is his natural position, he has also trained as a center-back and wing-back.
Based on this, Reece James is yet to know where coach Southgate might decide to play him from Sunday, June 13, when England play their opener which is against Croatia.
If coach Gareth Southgate decides to play with three defenders on Sunday, the possibility of Reece James starting ahead of Kieran Trippier, and Kyle Walker would be very slim.
James said: “[I’ve trained in] probably the positions you can guess. Wing-back, center-back, right-back. I’ve played all three so far, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen or what position I might feature in…
“I played right-side center-back many times coming throughout the academy so the position wasn’t new to me.
“It’s much different to wing-back, you can’t really go forward. Wing-back you have the license to push on and join in attacks, but on the right side of a three you’re kind of limited to where you can go and what you can do.”
Even if Reece James decides to compete for a place at the center-back role, he would face stiff opposition from natural center-backs like Ben White and Harry Maguire.
The 21-year-old right-back who is not new in fighting for a place in the teams he has played for would have to find a way to get into the current setup of coach Gareth Southgate.
Recall that the English defender enjoyed a regular game time at Chelsea when coach Frank Lampard was in charge. But when Thomas Tuchel took over, he struggled to keep his place in the team’s first eleven.
“At the start of the season, we had Frank Lampard. I was very lucky to play the majority of the games under him, but when our new manager came in, our style of play changed and formation changed as well,” James said.
“The first few games I found myself out of the team and not playing so that was quite difficult to deal with, but I had to adapt and learn. It’s hard when a new manager comes in. I’ve never had it before so it was a learning curve for me as well.”
In the just-concluded 2020-2021 season, Reece James made a total of 47 appearances for Chelsea in which he scored a goal and provided 5 assists. His effort helped Chelsea to win the UEFA Champions League and finished in the top four.
🗣"I didn't expect to win it this young."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 10, 2021
Reece James talks about how grateful he is on winning the Champions League this season at Chelsea pic.twitter.com/KA87mWYM61