Reece James included in Chelsea squad for Club World Cup

Krishan Davis
James is a surprise inclusion in the squad
James is a surprise inclusion in the squad / ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

Reece James is a surprise inclusion in the Chelsea squad for the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi as he continues his recovery from injury.

The England international has been sidelined for the past five weeks having torn his hamstring in the 1-1 draw with Brighton at Stamford Bridge on 29 December.

Speaking on Friday, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel had effectively ruled James out of the Club World Cup campaign, revealing that a bout of flu had set him back in his recovery and saying he would not travel with the rest of the squad to the UAE.

"After a couple of weeks, he will need some time in team training to get the confidence back. He does not travel with us to the Club World Cup," he said.

"It's always a bit of a tricky one and he is a physical player. He caught flu in the last week and lost days in his process of coming back to the team."

However, unexpectedly the 22-year-old has been included in the travelling party for the tournament, flying to Abu Dhabi with the rest of the squad following the FA Cup fourth round victory over Plymouth on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has not been not included in the initial list but will join up with his teammates after playing for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final against Egypt on Sunday.

Chelsea's Club World Cup campaign will get underway on Wednesday, when they will face the winner of Sunday's clash between Al Hilal and Al Jazira in the semi-finals.

Chelsea's Club World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli

Defenders: Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Malang Sarr, Marcos Alonso, Reece James, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah

Midfielders: Jorginho, Kenedy, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Saul

Forwards: Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku

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