Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Pochettino backs Chelsea star to be ‘one of the best players in the Premier League’ next season

Mauricio Pochettino has backed Reece James to be one of the best players in the Premier League next season after a difficult season for the Chelsea captain.

James has featured for just 421 minutes in the Premier League this season due to fitness issues and was this week sent off after coming on as a substitute against Brighton.

It was the right-back’s second red card of the campaign despite his limited involvement and James will miss Sunday’s final-day clash with Bournemouth and the opening fixtures of next season as a result.

 

The 24-year-old is unlikely to be included in the England squad for Euro 2024 next week but Pochettino has backed James to bounce back and be one of the best players in the Premier League in 2024/25.

“It was a really difficult season but now we need to help him to move on and then to accept punishment that will be there in the next few days,” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“Most important is to back him, to trust in him, for sure he needs to be ready for pre-season to start to train to build his fitness and then the talent is there.

“For sure next season he is going to be one of the best players in the Premier League.”

Chelsea will secure European football for next season with a point against Bournemouth and have improved over the run-in. The West Londoners are on a run of four consecutive Premier League wins and Pochettino was asked whether he expects to receive love from the Chelsea crowed this weekend, after coming under pressure following a challenging start to his tenure.

“After the game it’s natural, things happen, will come, if not its not a problem. I’m going to show my respect to the fans. We always try to be very respectful.

“We understand very well in this business that the fans are the best things at a football club and they are entitled to give their opinions in different ways. You need to respect. We are here because of them.

“They [the fans] need to trust in us. The only way that they can trust in us is the results because the process and work we are doing inside is difficult for them to analyse because they don’t know what we are doing every single day.

 

“It’s important to have the backing of the owners, they are the bosses. It is the best for the club, the players and for the fans. We know very well that coaches are always judged about the result in a very short period.”

Read – Chelsea vs Bournemouth – Premier League Match Preview

See more – The most Premier League goals scored for Chelsea in a single season

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