Thomas Tuchel agrees with Jose Mourinho famous Chelsea line as Reece James' plan made clear


It was back in February 2014 when Jose Mourinho proclaimed that he would love to have a whole team of Cesar Azpilicuetas . Mourinho said that team "would probably win" the Champions League, "because football is not just about pure talent."

Azpilicueta in Mourinho's first season back at Stamford Bridge would begin to show the versatility that has become a trademark of his trophy-laden Blues career. Despite being bought as a right-back in August 2012, the £7million defender would mostly be used on the opposite side by Mourinho.

In the following season when Chelsea would become Premier League champions and Azpilicueta would be recognised as one of the league's most consistent names in his position.

In the eight years since Mourinho's comment, Azpilicueta's durability has maintained his spot in Chelsea's lineup and after completing the grand slam of trophies in February, the Spaniard can be considered one of the Blues' greatest signings. Thomas Tuchel used a similar analogy when speaking about Reece James in Wednesday's press conference before the trip to Manchester United.

There has been some debate recently over James' positioning, being moved from a wingback into a centre-back role which he played briefly last season, and also back in his academy days. Expanding on the qualities the Cobham graduate possesses, Tuchel expressed how he wished for more talents like the 22-year-old.

"I would love to have two or three Reece James. I see him 55% towards wing-back and 45% in the back three."

If you could clone Reece James, it would probably form an incredible team. Even with years ahead of him, James has shown high levels of performance in three positions across his Chelsea career so far. As a traditional right-back, a right wingback and as a right-sided centre back.

As he proved at Wigan, he can even move into a deeper defensive midfield role if needed, something Chelsea fans briefly saw on the final league game of last season away to Aston Villa.

Trying to dive deeper into Tuchel's comments might indicate the type of players the German may be looking to target this summer in the transfer window. Players who can prove versatile are not only suitable for a club as unpredictable as Chelsea but specifically for a flexible coach like Tuchel.

The German has moved several players around during his time in charge – most recently trying Ruben Loftus-Cheek as a wingback whilst James started in a back-three against Real Madrid and Crystal Palace.

Aiming to sign players capable of adapting and being effective in several positions is a godsend for Tuchel and will hopefully be a priority in upcoming signings. Whilst Tuchel's comments were similar to Mourinho's, the German will be hoping James can match the levels of consistency shown by Azpilicueta in the coming years.

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