Mauricio Pochettino admits the reason behind giving leadership to Reece James

Reece James’ fitness will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s clash against Arsenal.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino opened up on the leadership of Reece James at Stamford Bridge. He tells why handed him the Chelsea captaincy and defended the full-back.

The Chelsea defender picked up a suspension during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last month. James missed out due to injury last time. He was suspended for Chelsea’s win over Burnley for aiming “abusive words” at a match official.

Pochettino has seen Reece James’ leadership attributes and admits his actions were a mistake fuelled by frustration after he sustained a hamstring injury in August.

Chelsea boss said, “Why did I choose him as captain? Because of his personality, his leadership, the respect he has from the club and his team-mates and he has my full respect also.”

“Chelsea is in his DNA and when you see the squad he is not only for the present, he is for the future and in this moment Chelsea need someone like that.

“I think he was upset with the situation. He was so committed with this project from the beginning, he felt really bad because he could not help the team.

“He made a mistake but he’s young and he can make mistakes. He was really sorry about that situation and I don’t think it will be repeated.

“Even myself at Burnley I got a yellow card at half-time and I’m 51 years old; sometimes a young guy can make a mistake, he was frustrated because he could not help the team.”

Reece James’ fitness will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s clash against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. He has only started 22 times in the Premier League since January 2022.

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