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Young Chelsea right-back Reece James is showing maturity way beyond his age, and is already looking to be Chelsea’s number one right-back ahead of the more experienced Cesar Azpilicueta.
The 20-year-old got his first England call-up last month and made his debut in England’s 3-0 friendly win against Wales.
He then made his competitive debut in England’s Nations League victory over Belgium and got his first start in the Three Lions loss at home to Denmark. Reece James had a good game, but it was marred by a red card he got after the game for dissent.
Nevertheless, England boss Gareth Southgate called up Reece James for the upcoming international games, hailing him for being a ‘brilliant example’ to young players hoping to break the England set-up. He also sent a warning to the Chelsea full-back that he has ‘got to learn’ from his sending off after the side’s defeat to Denmark.
“We thought he did so well, not only in the matches with us last month, but in the training sessions as well,” the England head coach explained at his press conference.
“We knew there was a good player there. We weren’t certain about bringing him in at the start because we’ve got huge competition in that area of the pitch.
“But it was a good opportunity to look at him and he grabbed that opportunity.
“It was a brilliant example to any player coming in that if you get the opportunity to train with the train well. ‘If you get the opportunity to be on the field for 10-15 minutes, do that well.
“And then you gain trust and you get more opportunities to show what you can do and I thought he grabbed that with both hands last time round.”
Southgate added: “He’s got to learn from what happened at the end of the Denmark game.
“He knows that wasn’t acceptable and he misses the chance to play in the qualifying matches this time.
“But we want him with us for the Ireland game in particular just so that he can build on what he’s done with us so far.”