Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has named Reece James as his Premier League young player of the season
Reece James has been instrumental for Chelsea despite being hit with an injury in the early part of the season. The 22 years old England international has also shown up whenever he is called upon whether as right-back or center-back.
Thomas Tuchel recently praised the young defender and claimed he wished he had more versions of Reece James in the team because of his versatility.
He said: “I would love to have two or three Reece James’s, then we would have the problem solved,” Chelsea manager replied only half-jokingly.
“It’s maybe 55% toward wing-back and 45% toward the back three.
“It also depends on how the opponent plays against us. Do we expect a lot of possession?
“How is there a structure for their offensive transition? This can sometimes be very helpful for him if James plays in the back three to be the first guy to cover in the transition and not be involved in the attacks
“So we have his speed and physicality in the protection of the opponent’s counter-attacks. These are my thoughts about it.
“As I said, I am learning a bit more than his very best position is the wing-back position, where he is even more decisive, more useful, but it’s more demanding.”
James has 5 goals and six assists in 22 Premier League appearances.
What did Ferdinand say?
Rio Ferdinand was full of praise for the Chelsea star.
He said: “I’m going to go Reece James [for Premier League young player of the season]. I just think the importance that he has in this team, when he doesn’t play in that team now they miss him massively. He has a massive impact on that team.’’
“I watched him at Old Trafford the other day… he was treating some Man United players like boys. That’s how good he is, how comfortable he looks now.
“I’ve seen him on loan at Wigan playing center-back, playing in midfield. He’s so versatile. His passing range is off the charts.
“Just his all-around general play, the composure, the physicality, his defending one-v-one. I think he’s got everything.”
Rio Ferdinand earlier last month praise the Chelsea defender and hailed him as a fantastic player.
Ferdinand said: “Reece James man, what a fantastic footballer. He’s the modern-day fullback, we talk about Trent Alexander-Arnold, he’s right up there with him. You can’t split them really, they bring so much to the game. I think Reece will bring more goals, but look at the passing man.”
“He doesn’t even get the recognition he deserves for his passing,” the former Manchester United defender added. “He’s got every club in the bag as well. He can be devastating, he’s got that physicality and patrols that right-hand side like he owns it.
“There’s a confidence about him that’s different to when he first came into the team which is understandable. As a player, I wanted the team to miss me if I wasn’t playing. He’s in that boat, in that place now when if he doesn’t play you notice a drop in the level.”