Reece James has been officially confirmed as Chelsea’s new club captain.
Speaking about the decision in an interview on the club’s website, the 23-year-old- who has been appointed as captain following the departure of César Azpilicueta to Atlético Madrid last month- stated:
“I’m so happy to take on the role and responsibility, I know I’ve got big shoes to fill because we have had huge captains here in the past, but I am excited.”
This news marks a bid decision from the London side’s new boss Mauricio Pochettino, who explained why he opted for James as captain by saying:
“He leads by example and his attitude and dedication to Chelsea has been clear throughout pre-season. He proudly wore the armband during our summer tour and will take up the challenge of leading our squad with his own approach and ideas.”
Having been at the side since the age of six, the full-back made his debut for The Blues under Frank Lampard in the 2019/20 season, following his impressive year-long loan spell at Wigan Athletic in the Championship the year prior, where he was named as the club’s player of the year. Since this point, the England international has gone onto make 111 appearances in all competitions for his boyhood side, scoring 11 and assisting 20 and proving a pivotal figure in their Champions League victory in 2020/21.
Capable of playing at right-back, wing-back, or even in midfield, James has stood out in multiple Chelsea sides over the years with his excellent creativity, physicality and well-rounded skillset. However, he has suffered with injury in this time, being limited to just 14 Premier League starts in the most recent campaign.
The Argentine head coach will hope his new captain can regain his fitness and performances this season, as his new side look to improve upon their disappointing 12th place league finish last season- which was their lowest since 1994.
James’ first game as club captain will come this Sunday August 13, when Chelsea will begin their new season as they host Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Travis Levison | Get Football