Reece James admits his journey from the Chelsea youth days to England’s Euro 2020 squad was ‘tough’ after a loan spell and injuries… but claims representing the Three Lions at a major tournament is a ‘dream’
Reece James admits the road from Chelsea’s youth academy to the English appearance-maker has been ‘tough’ ahead of this summer’s Euros.
The 21-year-old fullback has seen a remarkable rise in the past two years, as the Three Lions fullback played for Wigan Athletic in the bottom half of the championship just two years ago.
But James is now in contention to start England’s opening Euro 2020 match against Croatia on Sunday and claims he’s grateful to be at a major tournament with England as he’s seen loan periods and ankle injuries make the journey to that point. harm.
Reece James admits the road to making England’s Euro 2020 roster was ‘difficult’
The right-sided defender played with Wigan Athletic in the Championship Championship just two years ago
The Chelsea and England defender told talkSPORT: ‘The journey has had many ups and downs and it has been tough.
“I am very grateful and grateful to be here. I couldn’t have done it myself, it’s been a collective effort, I’ve had a lot of great teammates and coaches.
“So many people have helped me on my way. It wasn’t easy, as it might have looked. I didn’t go to Chelsea and broke in right away. I had to be loaned out, I had a lot of setbacks and a number of injuries I had to overcome.’
James returned from his loan spell with Wigan in the summer of 2019 and had the chance to impress by then Chelsea boss Frank Lampard in the first team, but an ankle injury hampered his development as a Blues regulator.
James returned to Chelsea in 2019 and continued his rise – leading to Champions League glory
He returned to Lampard’s plans after his time on the treatment table, finishing the 2019-20 season with 40 appearances in all competitions to his name, before impressing the following season.
Despite Lampard’s departure in January this year, James has improved his adaptability under current Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, playing either as a fullback or back three.
After winning the Champions League with the Blues last month, a moment the 21-year-old has described as a high point in his career thus far, he is looking to earn silverware for England for the first time in 55 years.
James says performing for England’s big tournament is a dream come true for Euro 2020
James added: “I’ve dreamed of this moment for a long time. It’s the pinnacle of representing your country in a major tournament.
“I’ve played quite a lot of positions this season, right back and wing defender. I also played to the right of a three. I’d probably say anywhere between those three, I’m comfortable.’
James also believes England are capable of going all out in the summer tournament, including winning the final on July 11 at Wembley.
“With this group of guys we have, anything is possible,” James said. “We have so many great players on the team and I don’t see why we can’t do it now.”