Reece James discusses 'tough' competition for England place

James has been excellent for Chelsea
James has been excellent for Chelsea / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Reece James has opened up on the intense competition at right-back in the England squad, revealing his belief that he, Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold must keep "pushing each other".

James was one of four right-backs taken to Euro 2020 by Gareth Southgate, alongside Walker, Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier, who was snubbed for the most recent 23-man selection.

Competition for places has not subsided since then either, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tino Livramento and the returning James Justin aiming to earn a place in the squad over the course of the season.

Speaking to the media prior to the Three Lions' last two World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino, James was full of praise for those competing with him for a spot in the starting XI.

"Each one of us has a different style of play. Trent's obviously been at the top for quite a few years now and Kyle Walker as well, so the competition's very tough," he said.

"There are other full-backs who are not here as well who are also at a very good level. I'm competing with very good players, it's tough and we just have to keep pushing each other.

"When you come away, you know you have to put club rivalry aside and when we're here, we're one team and our aim is to win and no matter who we're playing against, we have to put it aside and focus on our task here."

James will likely start for England against Albania on Friday after making a flying start to the season. The 21-year-old has registered four goals and four assists already, as well as helping Chelsea concede just four times all season.

"I'd say at this moment in time, this is probably the best I've performed, and recent results and performances have probably shown that as well," he added.

"Our team's performing well and we're creating a lot of chances, so that's obviously helping and we've got great players around us.

"When you're playing week in and week out, you're playing well and the team's performing, keeping clean sheets and winning games, it obviously helps everyone build confidence."

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