Chelsea star Reece James on course for Club World Cup return

Chelsea and England international star right-back Reece James is set for his return to first-team duties as the Blues approach the Club World Cup in February.

Thomas Tuchel’s outfit is the headline favorite in the annual international tournament of confederation champions which also features Palmeiras (CONMEBOL), Al Hilal (AFC), Al Ahly (CAF), Monterrey (CONCACAF), AS Pirae (OFC), and Al Jazira as tournament hosts.

As reported by The Athletic’s Simon Johnson, James looks scheduled to be available in time to be selected for Tuchel’s tournament squad.

His return will not be soon enough in order to feature in the fourth round of the FA Cup when Chelsea clash with Plymouth on February 5th, but James should be available before the club jet-sets off to the United Arab Emirates for the Club World Cup which is set to take place in the host city of Abu Dhabi.

James missed at Chelsea

The return of star right-back Reece James cannot come soon enough for Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, as the Blues could have a number of defensive headaches to contend with for the remainder of the season. Not through fitness, but contract concerns.

Both club captain César Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen have been linked with potential moves to Spanish giants Barcelona on the back of the two players being yet to agree to fresh terms in west London past the end of the current season.

Chelsea star Reece James on course for Club World Cup return

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 23: Ryan Sessegnon of Tottenham Hotspur gets away from Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on January 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Though that does not throw Chelsea for a spin this season, James’ reintroduction into the XI under Tuchel will at least guarantee that he has come through his injury concerns which by default lightens the blow should Azpilicueta decide to leave the club and opt for a return to Spain.

Beyond that, his availability will once again mean that Tuchel can revert back to a back-three deployment while utilizing James as a right wing-back; a position that Azpilicueta is not primarily suited to. Overall, it goes without saying that Chelsea are an immeasurably better outfit with the England star fighting fit.

This article was edited by
Conor Laird.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 23 41 57
2 Liverpool FC 22 39 48
3 Chelsea FC 24 30 47
4 Manchester United 22 6 38
5 West Ham United 23 10 37
6 Arsenal FC 21 8 36
7 Tottenham Hotspur 20 2 36
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 3 34
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 22 0 30
10 Leicester City 20 -3 26
11 Aston Villa 21 -4 26
12 Southampton FC 22 -8 25
13 Crystal Palace 22 -3 24
14 Brentford FC 23 -12 23
15 Leeds United 21 -16 22
16 Everton FC 20 -11 19
17 Norwich City 22 -32 16
18 Newcastle United 21 -22 15
19 Watford FC 20 -17 14
20 Burnley FC 18 -11 12
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6


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