Thomas Tuchel outlines reasons for switching Reece James to Chelsea back three

Head coach Thomas Tuchel feels that it makes more sense to use Reece James in Chelsea’s back three after two spells out through injury.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he is primarily using Reece James in the Chelsea back three to improve the chances of the player featuring for more minutes.

The England international spent the opening weeks of 2022 on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, and he suffered a similar issue with the opposite leg soon after his return.

More recently, James has played on the right-hand side of a defensive three, giving Chelsea an extra dimension in that area of the pitch, and Tuchel has suggested that supporters should expect to be more outings for the 22-year-old in that position.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Tuchel said: “I think that the back three is a little bit less demanding physically. Given the fact that he comes from a long injury, from a muscle injury and then a re-injury over so many weeks, it is a bit of an advantage to have him in the back three.

“The next step is how many games can he play if he plays wing-back during a season, reliable and on a level where he is decisive. It’s a bit less demanding physically in terms of accelerations and high speed, and that helps us to have him on the pitch for more minutes.

“He can play both positions brilliantly. He only have him once so we have to decide, but that is the reason at the moment.”

Despite his fitness issues, James has still made 31 appearances in all competitions this season.

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