James ready to play in three roles for England

Reece James has revealed that Gareth Southgate has watched him play in three different positions during England’s training sessions ahead of the European Championship.

England boss Southgate has plenty of right-back options and must also decide whether to play with two or three central defenders.

Chelsea’s James can operate as a right-back, full-back or right-sided centre-back.

James was asked at a press conference on Thursday which positions he has been deployed in in training.

He said: “The positions you could guess: wing-back, centre-back and right-back. I’ve played all three so far.

“I don’t really know what’s going to happen or what position I might feature in.”

James was used as a centre-back towards the end of the season by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, although he returned to the role of wing-back for the Champions League triumph against Manchester City and was outstanding.

He explained: “I played right-side centre-back many times coming through in the academy. So the position wasn’t new to me.

“The position is much different to wing-back. You’re a defender and you can’t really go forward.

“At wing-back you have license to push on and join in attacks, but right side of a three you’re kind of limited in where you can go and what you can do.”

James also spoke out the influence former Chelsea and England star Ashley Cole has had on his career so far.

“Me and him speak nearly every week. He’s probably one of the best left-backs to play the game,” said James.

“Even though he was a left-back, the position is basically the same (as right-back) – just on the other side. He helps me a lot.

“I always looked up to Frank Lampard because he played for the club I always supported – and Ashley Cole as well, similar (reasons).

“I always supported and looked up to the boys that played for the team I supported.”