Mount fit but injured James set to withdraw from England squad

Mason Mount is fit to return for Chelsea against Southampton but Reece James is set to withdraw from the England squad, with Thomas Tuchel expressing surprise at the defender’s call-up.

Mount and James, both recently sidelined by injury, were included in the England squad for World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary.

But Chelsea boss Tuchel says James will not be involved as he has an ankle problem and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

Tuchel suggested that James’ call-up was a “misunderstanding” as there is no prospect of him being fit to play.

The German joked: “When I saw it I thought maybe Reece goes with the water polo team for England because right now he trains in the pool. So I was a bit surprised.”

Tuchel added: “This (James joining up with the England squad) will not happen, because Reece is training in the pool right now. My understanding, my last information, was that he will not go. It can only be a misunderstanding, nothing else.

“Mason is in the squad. Mason is back. It was not a long injury – it was a minor injury. It’s obviously a given that he is nominated and he is happy to be and will give everything to do his best for England.”

There was no place in the England squad for Ben Chilwell, who has endured a difficult spell.

Chilwell did not feature at all during the European Championship and has since lost his place in the Chelsea side to Marcos Alonso.

Bne Chilwell of Chelsea
Chilwell was expected to feature in the European Championship for England

“It would be nice for him to be selected. He is happy to play for England and proud to play for England. He has the quality to play for England,” Tuchel said.

“He had a bit of a rough start and was a bit unlucky and he has his own story like every player.

“But I understand, and I’m sure Chilly understands, that he has to earn it with minutes and he did not have too many minutes, so we can understand why he is not selected.

“It’s not a big drama. I think he can accept it. There is no need to worry about it.

“Once he plays more minutes for us and plays with quality he will have the chance to be selected again.”

Chelsea face Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, having suffered back-to-back defeats, losing to Manchester City and Juventus.

Mount missed the Juventus game along with N’Golo Kante, who is isolating after recently testing positive for Covid-19.