Reece James provides ‘exciting’ Graham Potter verdict and outlines major Chelsea targets

James committed his long term future to Chelsea in the days before Thomas Tuchel was relieved of his duties and Graham Potter arrived at Stamford Bridge,

Reece James believes Chelsea are in for an exciting future under Graham Potter following their first days working together. The former Brighton boss replaced Thomas Tuchel, just days after it was announced that James had signed a new six-year deal at Stamford Bridge, but the wing-back’s ambitions remain as lofty.

James saw success in the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup under Tuchel and has reached the FA Cup and League Cup finals in his Chelsea career thus far. The 22-year-old has proved a pivotal figure for the Blues in recent seasons and wants to see the tide turn in west London in terms of domestic success.

Potter has left a positive impression in the few days he has spent with his new players and James couldn’t help but highlight his new head coach’s hunger to win at Chelsea.

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James told the Chelsea website: “In football, things happen very fast. I’ve played against Graham Potter ’s teams a number of times and he seems like a good guy so far. He’s hungry to win and I think it’s going to be an exciting future.”

The former Wigan loanee also cited what he hopes to achieve over the course of his new contract. He added: “The last few years have been good, but we’ve been to finals where we’ve lost as well. We want to win every competition we enter, and if we get to the final, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be going all the way.

“There have been a few where we’ve got there, but there have also been a few domestic trophies that we haven’t picked up, which needs to change.”

James has enjoyed a rapid rise in his career so far with his success at wing-back alongside Ben Chilwell, being notable under the tutelage of Tuchel. The defender recorded five goals and nine assists in 26 Premier League appearances in 2021/22, and despite Chelsea’s sluggish start has added a goal and an assist in five appearances this term.

Judging from James’ position in Potter’s opening match against Salzburg, he will have plenty of opportunity to continue in the same vein.

James added: “I know my ability and how well I can strike a ball. Whenever I get the opportunity, I always try and score and give myself the best chance of scoring or getting an assist. Full-backs were just full-backs before, but now they’re trying to use them as an extra player. We have space there and sometimes it works in your favour.

“It’s great when you get high up the pitch and attack but sometimes the game is more difficult and you can’t do that because you’re defending more. In football, anything can happen and counter-attacks happen every game, so you have always got to remain switched on and not go to sleep.”

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