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Liverpool ace praises Chelsea youngster who will rival him for a spot in the England national team

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Trent Alexander-Arnold of England is replaced by Reece James of England during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium on October 11, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Neil Hall - Pool/Getty Images)

Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold praises Chelsea’s Reece James

Speaking to Evening Standard, Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has expressed his admiration for Chelsea youngster Reece James and feels it will down to the two of them to land the right wing-back spot for England. 

Reece James made his international debut for the English national team in October this year after featuring in England’s 3-0 win against Wales in a friendly. After a cameo against Belgium in the UEFA Nations League, the Chelsea youngster started against Denmark.

Despite being sent off against the Danes in a 1-0 loss, the Englishman impressed Gareth Southgate enough for him to give him the full 90 minutes in England’s 3-0 win against Ireland in an international friendly earlier this month.

Chelsea star Reece James was a surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate's England squad announced yesterday.
Chelsea star Reece James has already made his full international debut for England this year. (GETTY Images)

Trent Alexander-Arnold has acknowledged the strides that James has made in establishing himself as Chelsea’s first-choice right-back this season.

“I remember him always being good for Chelsea youth teams, remember watching him in the Youth Cup. Chelsea is probably the hardest team to break into as a local lad and as a young English player. For him to be able to do that is a statement itself.”

Trent praised James’ abilities and said that he considers the 20-year-old a complete right-back and that he will get even better with age.

“He has shown since he came in over the last year or so that he is a good player, solid defensively, and good going forward. He is an all-round right-back and probably up there with some of the best in the League. He is still young and has a lot to learn but as for his talent and potential, he is a very good player.”

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold believes Reece James will be the biggest threat to his starting position at right-back for England. (GETTY Images)
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold believes Reece James will be the biggest threat to his starting position at right-back for England. (GETTY Images)

Asked whether he was surprised by five right-backs being named in Gareth Southgate’s most recent England squad, Trent said that the competition for the right wing-back spot would be down to just him and James.

“I would say more so that me and Reece James are more out-and-out right-backs I would say… In the formation that we are playing currently the right wing-backs would probably be me and him, knowing that Kyle Walker can play right centre-back and Tripps sometimes plays left wing-back so I think with the versatility that we’ve got all four of us can play different positions quite comfortably.”

The Chelsea right-back has featured in 11 games this season and has established himself as the first-choice right-back at Stamford Bridge.

The young right-back will be tipped to start against Tottenham Hotspur in the weekend clash at Stamford Bridge where a win could see Chelsea leapfrog Spurs and Liverpool to the top of the league table.

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Chelsea receive injury boost as 20-year-old ace could be available for Liverpool clash

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Callum Hudson-Odoi linked with a move to Bayern Munich again.

Chelsea injury boost as Callum Hudson-Odoi could be fit to face Liverpool

Chelsea are set to have Callum Hudson-Odoi fit for the Liverpool clash during the midweek (via Daily Star h/t Metro). While most of the attention on him was due to the handball incident, he was taken off at half-time, very likely due to an injury concern.

Later, it was shown that the youngster was sitting on the benches with an ice pack strapped around his left thigh. While Thomas Tuchel did confirm it was a minor injury, he also said that the winger was taken off for tactical reasons.

Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea during the Premier League behind closed doors match between Chelsea and Manchester United, ManU at Stamford Bridge, London, England on 28 February 2021.

‘[He was] a little bit injured. The reason [he was replaced] was a tactical reason and a little injury, a combination, because we switched to a back-five in defence and covered the wide position from [Marcus] Rashford in between [Cesar] Azpilicueta and Reece James. In the second half, that was not an option to use Callum there and that’s why it was a tactical choice.’

However, he is now making good progress with his injury and could be in line to face Liverpool on Thursday. The only other injury concern remaining is Thiago Silva and he is likely to miss the game.

Chelsea’s English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League football match between Krasnodar and Chelsea at the Krasnodar stadium in Krasnodar on October 28, 2020. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

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Hudson-Odoi has prominently featured in Thomas Tuchel’s plans and been deployed at wing-back so far. The 20-year-old has done well in that role after overcoming his problems in the Southampton game. Tuchel will be hoping to have him fully fit for the vital game.

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Young Chelsea star emerges as summer target for West Ham

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Tammy Abraham scored the only goal of the game against Barnsley in the FA Cup 5th round fixture. (GETTY Images)

Tammy Abraham wanted by West Ham as Chelsea future hangs in the balance

According to Daily Star, Chelsea ace Tammy Abraham is being eyed by West Ham as a possible summer target. West Ham are also looking at Eddie Nketiah and Ivan Toney as other possible signings.

Tammy Abraham’s future is in limbo after being left out of the squad against Manchester United. The academy graduate is mulling over a new contract but wants to see whether Chelsea commit to signing Erling Haaland in the summer.

Dortmund’s Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland warms up ahead the German first division Bundesliga football match between SC Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund in Freiburg, southwestern Germany, on February 6, 2021. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham have a dearth of strikers after letting go of Sebastien Haller in January and not being able to sign a replacement. They even had a move for Youssef En-Nesyri turned down. However, the Hammers want to bring in one striker to provide competition and support for Michail Antonio.

Chelsea are also in a spot with Abraham, given he is their top-scorer this season but has featured much less under Thomas Tuchel. The German manager has preferred to use Olivier Giroud as well as Timo Werner.

Thomas Tuchel celebrates with Tammy Abraham after his goal was enough to put Chelsea through to the 6th round of the FA Cup.
Thomas Tuchel celebrates with Tammy Abraham after his goal was enough to put Chelsea through to the 6th round of the FA Cup. (GETTY Images)

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While Abraham may yet have more than two years on his existing deal, it looks increasingly likely that they could let him go. The Blues are actively pursuing Haaland and that could push Abraham further down the side. There is no shortage of interest in the striker, with Aston Villa also said to be interested.

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Chelsea transfer boost as St. Etienne prepare £22m sale of 17-year-old rising talent

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Chelsea transfer boost as St. Etienne prepare Lucas Gourna-Douath sale

According to FootMercato (h/t The Sun), St. Etienne are ready to sell Lucas Gourna-Douath, who has been linked to Chelsea. The French side are willing to sanction a deal for the 17-year-old if a bid of £22million comes in.

As one of the rising stars in Ligue 1, Gourna-Douath has become a vital part of St. Etienne. He has already played for the senior side 23 times this season. A deep-lying central midfielder, manager Claude Puel wants him to stay at the club for a long time. Even the player is interested in the same.

Lucas Gourna Douath 33 – Saint Etienne – FOOTBALL : Reims vs Saint Etienne – Ligue 1 – Reims – 09/01/2021 FedericoPestellini/Panoramic.

However, due to the economic impact of the pandemic, the French side are willing to let him as well as a few more players, go. The club sold the likes of Wesley Fofana and William Saliba in the summer and it could continue with Gourna-Douath.

There will be competition for the Blues though, with AC Milan and RB Leipzig also interested in the youngster. The player’s representatives are preparing for any possible move including one to England.

Claude Puel avec Lucas Gourna-Douath et Julien Sable avec Maxence Rivera entraineur saint etienne FOOTBALL : AS Saint Etienne vs Nimes Olympique – Ligue 1 Uber Eats – 20/12/2020 FredericChambert/Panoramic.

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While Chelsea don’t really need any more central midfielders for the first-team, Lucas Gourna-Douath can be a good addition to their flourishing academy. Chelsea have promoted players from the academy in recent times and the same could be followed for him in case Chelsea can strike a deal.

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European giants set to make decision on the future of Chelsea loanee at the end of the season

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AC Milan to make Fikayo Tomori decision at the end of this season

According to Football.london, AC Milan are likely to sign Fikayo Tomori on a permanent basis at the end of the season if he continues to impress. The Chelsea academy graduate went on loan to the Italian side in January and Milan have an option to sign him permanently next season.

Tomori found game time hard to come by under the latter days of Frank Lampard. With the arrival of Thiago Silva, Tomori was sidelined as Kurt Zouma was preferred ahead of the English starlet.

Antonio Rudiger in action for Chelsea against Krasnodar in the UEFA Champions League. (GETTY Images)
Antonio Rudiger is a regular for Chelsea under Tuchel (GETTY Images)

AC Milan came for his services and took him on loan till the end of this season. However, they hold a £26.6m to-buy clause which they can choose to exercise at the end of the season.

Tomori has impressed massively for the Milan giants and it looks very likely that he could make the move permanent in the summer. Milan director Paolo Maldini, who was instrumental in securing Tomori’s signature, spoke about a permanent move for him.

“Fikayo has particular characteristics, intensity, speed. In our opinion, it was a possible reinforcement for this season finale. There is an option to buy, it is very high, it will be an assessment between now and the end of the season whether to exercise it or not. It is a fairly clear situation.”

Fikayo Tomori of Milan in action during the serie A soccer match AS Roma vs Ac Milan in the Olympic stadium in Rome, Italy, 28 February 2021. Fotografo01 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xFotografo01x/xIPAx/xFotografo01x 0

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New manager Thomas Tuchel has mostly used the likes of Silva, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta at centre-back. It looks very likely that Tomori has no future at Chelsea. With his impressive showings for Milan, the club are also very likely to make his stay a permanent one.

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