Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has heaped praise on Blues right-back Reece James for his impressive performance in his team’s recent 3-0 win over AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League.
The Blues registered their first continental win under new head coach Graham Potter at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday (October 5). Wesley Fofana opened the scoring in the 24th minute from a corner before being substituted off in the 38th minute with a knee injury.
James, who was operating on the right flank in a 3-4-2-1 setup, assisted new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for his team’s second goal in the 56th minute. Five minutes later, he tripled the hosts’ lead with an emphatic near-post finish from a Raheem Sterling pass.
Speaking on BT Sport (via Metro), Cole shared his thoughts on his former team’s statement win over the Serie A champions in the Group E clash. He also lauded James for his contributions. He said:
“There was a massive gulf in class between the two teams tonight. It was a routine win for Chelsea. It was very disappointing from Milan actually because they threw the towel in towards the end of the goal. That won’t sit well for Milan fans.”
“But Chelsea were great, Reece James was sublime all night, there’s not enough superlatives for that man. It was so routine. To do that to an AC Milan shows we’re going in the right direction so I’m absolutely delighted.”
Former Blues forward Eniola Aluko also chimed in and said:
“Reece James is so smart with his goal. He waits for the overlap to happen and the strike is great. It’s such an intelligent finish. He was the best player on the pitch in the second half.”
James has netted two goals and laid out two assists in nine appearances across all competitions in the ongoing 2022-23 campaign.
Chelsea are next scheduled to face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday (October 8).
Chelsea in race to sign Jordan Pickford – Reports
According to journalist Simon Phillips, Chelsea have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Edouard Mendy, who arrived from Rennes for £22 million in the summer of 2020, is currently the Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper. However, his future is up in the air as the club’s board have lost faith in the player.
Pickford, on the other hand, has registered 55 clean sheets in 206 appearances for the Toffees. He is also England’s first-choice shot-stopper and played in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the Euro 2020 last year.