Nobody at Chelsea this season has been at their best, and that’s been a cause of much frustration for Maurizio Sarri. As always, it’s the manager that is going to get the blame for that, but the reality is that the Chelsea squad isn’t good enough at present, and it’s painfully obvious that many of the core players within the team don’t suit the manager’s style.
That’s even true of some of the pillars of consistency at Stamford Bridge, like Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spaniard has been undroppable over the last few years, but he’s been well below par over the last 6 months, and his lack of influence down the right-hand side of the Chelsea defence has been a real worry.
It’s even gone as far as to make it feasible that he should be replaced, and those calls are only likely to grow in volume after Reece James’ latest achievement.
James, who is currently on loan from Chelsea at Wigan Atletic, is a natural right-back with bags of offensive flair, and that makes him more naturally suited to Maurizio Sarri’s style. With 3 assists this term and 5 Man of the Match awards (as per Who Scored), his impact is undeniable. He’s been simply fantastic in the Championship this term, and that’s earned him a spot in the Team of the Season.
— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) March 26, 2019
Nobody is going to suggest that James is capable of playing at the highest level every week just yet, but what can’t be denied now is that he’s outgrown the Championship, and a spell in the Premier League is beckoning.
The reality, though, is that there’s no reason why he can’t make that happen at Chelsea. He already looks to be good enough to play backup to Cesar Azpilicueta, and that would facilitate regular game time in cup competitions, whilst he could also step in in the Premier League when required.
A year or two playing with Azpilicueta will only make him better, whilst giving Chelsea’s captain some competition will only make him improve too. Truthfully, this is a win-win situation for Chelsea – and the James doubters simply can’t have a voice at this stage.
Chelsea fans – is Reece James good enough? Should he play behind Azpilicueta? Let us know below!
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