Ex Liverpool and Portsmouth star makes audacious England claim for Chelsea star

Reece James has struggled with injuries this season.Reece James has struggled with injuries this season.
Reece James has struggled with injuries this season. | POOL/AFP via Getty Images
The former Chelsea star knows the right-back position well and sent Gareth Southgate a message.

Former Chelsea and Portsmouth star Glen Johnson has made an audacious claim that Blues full-back Reece James should start ahead of Liverpool man Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City star Kyle Walker for England this summer.

The Three Lions are heading to Germany for Euro 2024 at the end of the Premier League campaign as Gareth Southgate looks to go one place better than the runners-up medal achieved in the delayed 2020 event. Some places in the England starting XI seem guaranteed already but there are still a number of roles where the best candidate is up for debate.

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One of those is the right-back role, with many believing Southgate will pick between Alexander-Arnold and Walker for the spot. However, Johnson believes that it is another player who is best for the position.

He told DAZN Bet: "It’s tough for Gareth Southgate because they all have different attributes. Trent’s technical ability, Walker’s speed and recoveries and then Reece James is probably the best all-rounder.

"It’s good for a manager because you can pick and choose depending on who you're playing against. If you wanna play against a team who are going to sit back and allow you to have the ball, you probably play Trent.

"If you're gonna be up against some, you know, big players and fast wingers you’ll probably play, Walker. But for me, overall, I think Reece James is the best.”

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There is no doubting James' quality and capability on the biggest stage, but Johnson's words will no doubt surprise fans given that the Chelsea man has made just nine appearances this season due to injury and hasn't featured since December.

Reece James has struggled with injuries this season.Reece James has struggled with injuries this season.
Reece James has struggled with injuries this season. | POOL/AFP via Getty Images

It is, of course, a position that Johnson knows well having spent his career playing predominately at right-back. The defender won the Premier League and League Cup at Chelsea, as well as the FA Cup at Portsmouth.

The 39-year-old is best known for his time at Liverpool, where he made 200 appearances over six years. He hung up his boots in 2018 after time at Stoke City and played for England at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.

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Johnson also gave his opinion on Chelsea's transfer work in recent times. Speaking about his former club, he said: "The thing is, they've signed loads of youngsters that will probably come through in a couple of years and you know and be the real deal and things like that.

"Now they have to find the right balance. You need the mature players that have been around the leagues. You don't wanna go too top-heavy in terms of youngsters, at the end of the day, you need results and you need to win."

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