‘He has taken me under his wing’ – James says Thiago Silva has been biggest influence on his Chelsea career

Thiago Silva

Reece James says that fellow Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has had the biggest influence on his career so far after taking him “under his wing” over the past few months.

The Brazilian has also been giving valuable tips to James about how to improve his all-round game, with the England international grateful to be learning from a man who has achieved so much at the highest level.

Asked who has played the biggest role in his development at Chelsea to date, James told BBC Sport:”I think, this season, Thiago Silva has probably influenced my career the most so far, just because he is well experienced and played at the very top of the game for the last 15 years.

“He has taken me under his wing, coached me and told me where I need to do better and where I am doing well.”

James became a regular in Chelsea’s starting XI under Frank Lampard in 2019-20, and continued to fill the right-back role in the team during the first half of the current season.

The 21-year-old has contributed one goal and five assists to the Blues’s cause in 21 outings across all competitions this term, but Lampard’s sacking in January has led to his place coming under threat.

Former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was drafted in to replace a club legend, and the German head coach has quickly set about stamping his own mark on the squad by experimenting with a 3-4-3 formation.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has been shifted into a right wing-back role under Tuchel, with James only starting two of his first six games in charge.

James and Silva will both be back in contention for a spot in Tuchel’s line up when Chelsea travel to St Mary’s to take on Southampton on Saturday.

The Blues must win that fixture to make sure they stay in the Premier League’s top four, before turning their attention to a Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid three days later.

The two teams will contest the first leg of their round of 16 tie on neutral ground in Bucharest due to the current coronavirus travel restrictions in Spain, with the return leg scheduled to take place at Stamford Bridge on March 17.

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Source : goal.com