‘He’s got everything’ – Kyle Walker lauds Chelsea star as best in the world in his position

Will Ford
Kyle Walker of Manchester Ciy
Kyle Walker reckons Chelsea captain Reece James is the best in the business.

Manchester City star Kyle Walker has hailed Chelsea captain Reece James as the best right-back in the world.

James missed the majority of his first season as Blues skipper through a hamstring issue and his career in general has been ravaged by injuries.

But having broken into the Chelsea first team in September 2019, James has established himself as one of the best around in his position.

‘He’s just got everything’

The 24-year-old was omitted from Gareth Southgate’s 33-man provisional England squad for this summer’s Euros, which came as a surprise to some, and Walker reckons the Cobham academy graduate has “got everything”.

Asked to name the best right-back in the world, he said on the You’ll Never Beat Kyle Walker podcast: “Reece James. He’s just got everything. Everything. If I could make the complete right-back, it would be him. He can defend, attack, he’s technical, can use both feet, he’s a threat at dead-ball situations, he’s quick…

“I think if I was to build the perfect right back, I would go with my strength, [Achraf] Hakimi’s pace, [Joao] Cancelo’s technical ability, Trent’s [Alexander-Arnold] passing, [Dani] Carvajal’s mentality and I think Reece James’ football brain because he obviously played in midfield for a long time.

“But if I was to round all of them up, I’d say it would be Reece. He gives you a little bit of everything.”

Walker, Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold were Southgate’s preferred right-back options for Germany this summer, while Joe Gomez is another option.

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James snub shocks Merson

James only starting five games for Chelsea this term scuppered his chances, but Paul Merson was still “shocked” by his snub.

Merson told Sky Sports: “I think he is one of the best in the business.

“I know he’s had a long injury but [Luke] Shaw’s been out a long time. I’m quite shocked.

“Kyle Walker plays at right-back but if you bring Reece James as well it opens it up into playing a three at the back sometimes. You might want to play three at the back against better teams.

“Reece James is one of the best wing-backs about. And then if he goes to right-back, you can put Walker into centre-half and then we might have to chase a game against someone, you’ve got Walker’s pace at the back.”