England

Reece James jumps to the defence of Trent Alexander-Arnold

Krishan Davis
James started England's most recent match
James started England's most recent match / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Reece James has insisted he is just as liable to make mistakes as his England teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold as the pair vie for a starting place in Gareth Southgate's side.

The Chelsea man is one of a number of top-class right-backs that Southgate has at his disposal, as well as Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City stalwart Kyle Walker.

Despite being a wonderful creator and ball-player, criticism is often levelled at Alexander-Arnold for his defensive ability, and the England manager has struggled to find a place for him in his system.

Having started England's first Nations League match of the four-game window against, the 23-year-old was left out for the draw with Germany and subsequently left the squad to rest after a long season at club level.

James benefited by starting the goalless draw against Italy on Saturday night in a flat back four, but he was quick to jump to his international teammate's defence following the match.

"I make mistakes as well. I gave away a penalty against Hungary so we are both still learning our trade," he said.

"Liverpool have 95% of the ball and he defends less than I have to. People have a lot of stuff to say and don't really know the game. Trent is a great player."

Asked what he needs to do to be Southgate's starting right-back or right wing-back, James responded: "I'll try everything I can [to be first choice].

"Only my performances will be able to prove what I can bring. In these games and building into next season I'll hopefully be able to show that I'm ready to play every game."


Listen now to 90min's brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. This week Harry Symeou steps in for Scott and the trio discuss the futures of Bukayo Saka, Rafael Leao, Romelu Lukaku, Kalvin Phillips, Youri Tielemans, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus and more.


James was also asked what he and his England teammates planned to do to highlight human rights abuses in Qatar ahead of the World Cup in November.

"When there is something that can improve, we like to shine a light on it," he continued.

"There's a lot of talks in camp about what's gone on. We're definitely going to raise awareness. We haven't finalised what we're going to do - we need to carry on talking about it."

facebooktwitterreddit