Reece James has been announced as the new captain of Chelsea, succeeding Cesar Azpilicueta who recently joined Atletico Madrid. This news was shared by Chelsea on their official Twitter account.
At just 23 years old, James becomes the youngest permanent captain of the club since Ray Wilkins, who was given the armband at the age of 18 in 1975. Expressing his excitement, James said, “I’m so happy to take on the role and responsibility. I know I have big shoes to fill because we have had great captains here in the past, but I am excited.”
Having been with Chelsea since the age of six, James feels a deep connection to the club. He said, “I have been at Chelsea pretty much my whole life. I started here when I was six, and to come through the academy is tough. But to go on and become captain, it’s a great feeling for me and my family.”
Blues head coach Mauricio Pochettino expressed his satisfaction with the decision, stating, “This is a decision taken by me and the club. We are very pleased Reece will captain the side this season. He leads by example, and his attitude and dedication to Chelsea have been clear throughout pre-season.”
James has been a product of Chelsea’s renowned Cobham academy, progressing through the age groups and achieving success along the way. He won the FA Youth Cup twice and captained the team on the second occasion. In 2018, he signed a professional contract and was loaned out to Wigan in the Championship, where he made 46 appearances during the 2018/19 season.
The 2019/20 season marked James’ breakthrough into Chelsea’s first team under Frank Lampard, making 37 appearances in his debut campaign. His second season proved to be even more successful as he played a crucial role in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph, receiving praise for his performance against former Manchester City star Raheem Sterling. In the 2021/22 season, James has already won the Super Cup and Club World Cup with the team.
With 11 goals for Chelsea and 16 caps for the England national team, James has proven himself both domestically and internationally. As he takes on the captaincy, all eyes will be on him to lead the squad with his own approach and ideas.
London, England – Chelsea have named Reece James, at 23-years-old, their new captain.
The young England defender has enjoyed two successful seasons at the club since his arrival from Wigan Athletic in 2019, winning the UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
His ascension to captain of the club at such a young age proves the faith the Chelsea hierarchy have in James’ ability and potential.
The player, who began his career as a schoolboy at Premier League side Wham, has come a long way. He is now one of the most celebrated defenders in England.
A Chelsea academy graduate, he made his debut in 2018 as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday in the 2018-19 season, and made his first start in October of that year.
Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, quick to become a first-team regular and a fan favorite.
James has made over hundred appearances for Chelsea and established himself as a regular on the international stage with the England national team. His form earned him a call up to the UEFA Nations League semi-final in October 2020, where he was voted man of the match in a match against Portugal.
Having captained the club’s U21 team to the 2017-18 Premier League cup, the appointment of Reece James as captain is a huge step forward for the player.
A statement released by the club read: “We are confident Reece has the necessary qualities to become a leading figure at a club that is proud of its history and determined to build on its recent successes.”
The news of James’ appointment has been well-received by both the team’s fans and rivals, with many praising the step in the right direction for Chelsea and the young player himself.