Mauricio Pochettino confirms Chelsea 23-year-old will be on the bench against Brentford


Chelsea captain Reece James will only make the bench tomorrow against Brentford.

That has been confirmed by Mauricio Pochettino.

The Chelsea head coach has provided a fitness update this afternoon during his pre-match press conference.

Reece James, who’s had yet more frustration with injury this season, isn’t quite ready to make his first start since the opening day of the Premier League.

Instead, the 23-year-old will be a substitute for Saturday afternoon’s league clash at home to Brentford.

James returned from his latest injury layout with a late cameo performance in last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal. Therefore, it may not be the biggest surprise to hear the Brentford game is coming too soon for him to start.

When asked if James could start against Brentford, Pochettino replied via Chelsea’s YouTube channel: “No, he’s still not ready to start. I think he’s doing well. He was training really well. He’s really close. For tomorrow, he’s still going to be on the bench.”

We expect to see our talented right-back get some more minutes from the bench versus Brentford.

The team has struggled in recent months to create and score goals whenever James is missing, but it’s been great to see in recent weeks the attacker step up and perform.

Unlike previous seasons, Chelsea may feel a little bit less panicked when James misses games.

Malo Gusto, who’s just 20, is proving himself to be a quality deputy in the right-back spot.

It’s reassuring to know that the Blues don’t need to take risks and rush James back too quickly, especially given his poor injury record in recent years.

Speaking in an interview with GGRecon last month, Glen Johnson explained why he’s been really impressed by Gusto during his debut season in Chelsea colours.

Gusto’s aim, albeit a tough one, should be to make it very difficult for the manager to drop him. Every opportunity he gets on the pitch is huge for the talented youngster.

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