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Tuchel: James is not fit enough for international duty

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said in no uncertain terms that he feels Reece James is not physically ready to go away on international duty.

James, 22, has had a rough run with injuries after tearing his hamstring against Brighton late in December, briefly returning in the first week of March before getting sidelined once again.

The impressive full-back is having a great season, with five goals and six assists from 17 Premier League appearances.

England manager Gareth Southgate turned heads when he named James in the squad for upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, but Tuchel was firm when asked for his thoughts.

“[Technical and Performance Adviser] Petr Cech will have this chat because, of course, the recommendation is that [James] does not go [on international duty],” he said following Chelsea’s 2-0 FA Cup win against Middlesbrough.

“He is still in individual training, otherwise, we would have brought him to Lille and we would have brought him here for sure. There is no doubt about it. 

“He is still in individual training, he needs one more week of rehabilitation and I think we can provide this much better – it is not the job of the national team to do this.”

Chelsea will next play Brentford on April 2, before hosting Real Madrid in the Champions League a few days later.

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