Reece James: England right-back set to miss World Cup due to knee injury which sees him out for 6-8 weeks

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Updated: Oct 14, 2022

Reece James is likely to miss the World Cup after he was forced off in Chelsea’s Champions League clash with A.C. Milan on Tuesday; the Chelsea man went down a few minutes later after his clash with Theo Hernandez.

The Daily Mail reports Reece James has sustained ligament damage and is out for a least six to eight weeks. James’ absence for Gareth Southgate would be a huge blow ahead of the World Cup.

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Scans have revealed the extent of James’ injury which showed the severity of his injury is worse than initially thought.

The 22-year-old is now likely to miss the World Cup which causes another headache for Southgate as James’ injury comes alongside fitness issues for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Reece James was set to play an important part in Southgate’s plans for the World Cup, having started the last two games for England.

England’s first World Cup game is against Iran in Group B on the 21st of November.

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With Reece James likely out, debate is likely to spark over who will take the starting sport for England. Alexander-Arnold’s role for England has been one of the biggest topics of debate in recent years.

Gareth Southgate has often opted to pick four right-backs, with Reece James, Kyle Walker, Kieran Tripper and Alexander-Arnold in his last England squad.

Kyle Walker is also injured as he recovers from surgery on a groin issue he picked up in the Manchester Derby.

Reece James has picked up 15 caps for England since making his debut in October 2020 while Trent Alexander-Arnold has picked up just 17 caps despite making his debut in June 2018.

Speaking about why he left Alexander-Arnold out of the England squad to play Germany, Southgate said:

“It’s nothing to do with the World Cup. We have four right-backs with exceptional quality.

“Kieran Trippier is playing exceptionally well and Reece James has been one of the outstanding players in the league.

“We know Trent is a very very good footballer and that’s why we picked him in the squad.”

Alexander-Arnold also held a heart-to-heart with Gareth Southgate where the Mirror reports Southgate has insisted Kieran Tripper is ‘ahead of’ Trent Alexander-Arnold.

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Speaking to reporters Southgate said: “Firstly, I didn’t want any player to sit in the stand for two matches so I think the way we manage a group of people has been a big strength for us in the tournaments and we need to do that.

“The other night, we didn’t need the left-back cover, against Germany we did because of the way we went with the team so we needed Chilly on the bench and we had Kieran who.

“His all all-round game is ahead (of Trent)”

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“I’ve had long conversations with all of them, been very clear with them about where they stand, what they need to improve upon, what they’re doing well so they’re very clear on where they sit.”

Reece James’ injury is also a huge blow for Graham Potter, who has started James in all of his matches so far as Chelsea boss.

Speaking about the quality of Reece James, Potter said: “ I think Reece [James] is just a fantastic player, and he’s a young player so he’s developing all the time.”

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Thiago Silva also rates the English right-back very highly as heaped praise on him when he told reporters:

 “A very young athlete, looks like he is been playing for so many years. I hope he can keep this winning mentality; Reece James has everything to be one of the 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲.”

Reece James now faces a race against time to make the World Cup but it is likely he will miss the tournament.

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