Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel questions Reece James' England call-up

Tom Gott
Reece James remains sidelined through injury
Reece James remains sidelined through injury / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has questioned Gareth Southgate's decision to call injured right-back Reece James up to the England squad for October's internationals.

James suffered a nasty looking knock in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, after which Tuchel stressed that the defender was looking at at least one week on the sidelines, but Southgate was still prepared to gamble on his fitness and include James in his squad.

It's a decision which surprised Tuchel, who confessed in a press conference that he expected Southgate to reach out to him to discuss the call-up before making it official.

"You'd assume the decision had my blessing, wouldn't you?" he laughed. "When I saw it, I thought that maybe Reece was going with the water polo team for England because, right now, he's training in the pool.

"I was a bit surprised but I understood that he was selected for the football team, but it's not going to happen because Reece is training in the pool now. It's my understanding, with the latest information, is that he will not go [to international duty], so it can only be a misunderstanding."

"It's normal [that Southgate didn't call]," Tuchel continued. "Imagine if every national team coach calls the coaches. I'm very bad at answering calls anyway so nobody could reach me. The club is in touch, Petr Cech sorts these things out."

Tuchel was more satisfied with the decision to call up midfielder Mason Mount, whom he confirmed has shaken off a minor injury and is in line to feature in Chelsea's meeting with Southampton.

"For Mason, of course Mason is in the squad, he's back," the boss continued. "It was not a long injury, a minor injury, and we are happy that he's back.

"It's obviously a given that he's nominated [for the England squad], he's happy to be nominated and he'll give everything to give his best for the England squad."


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