International Soccer

Kyle Walker names Premier League star as ‘best right-back in the world’

Manchester City’s Kyle Walker has named Chelsea captain Reece James as the best right-back in the world.

James, 24, has already racked up over 150 appearances for Chelsea but missed out on a spot in England’s provisional squad for Euro 2024 after an injury-hit season saw him manage just 481 minutes of competitive action.

Despite his recent struggles, Walker has kept faith with James, telling BBC Sounds that the Chelsea captain has “everything”.

“If I could make the complete right-back, it would be him,” Walker admitted. “Defend, attack, technically, both feet, dead-ball situations, quick…

“If I was to build [a right-back], I’d go my strength, [Achraf] Hakimi’s pace, [Joao] Cancelo’s technical ability, Trent [Alexander-Arnold]’s passing, [Dani] Carvajal’s mentality, and Reece James’ football brain, because he played in midfield for a long time.

“If I was to round all them up in one [player], I’d say it’d be Reece. He gives you a little bit of everything.”

Reece James

Walker heaps praise on James / Robin Jones/GettyImages

James enjoyed the best season of his career in 2021/22 under Thomas Tuchel, scoring five goals and adding nine assists in 26 Premier League games, but numerous fitness issues have prevented him from building on that momentum.

He managed 24 appearances in all competitions in 2022/23 and just 11 this past season, while his return from a lengthy absence was marred by a second red card of the season in Chelsea‘s penultimate league game against Brighton & Hove Albion.

As it was his second dismissal, James must serve a four-match ban. He sat out the season finale against Bournemouth but will also miss the first three games of the 2024/23 campaign as a result.


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