Reece James’ development ‘far from over’ after full-back signs new deal with Chelsea, says Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel has claimed that Reece James’ development is “far from over” after the right-back signed a new long-term deal with Chelsea.

James has become a key player at Tuchel’s Chelsea since taking over last January, driving in from a full-back role or replacing the German’s favorite three-man backline right-back, and has made five appearances. in the Premier League this season. .

The England international signed a new five-year deal with the Blues on Monday, making him the highest-paid defender in their history.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s opening Champions League game with Dinamo Zagreb, Tuchel expressed satisfaction at the Blues’ ability to tie down one of their most prized assets.

“Of course, he is a very decisive player for us and he is an academy player, and we told you many times how important he is,” Tuchel said.

“I think his development is far from over, there is a lot to learn for him and a lot to come.

“But of course we are happy to have a key player with us for so many years.”

On the domestic front, Chelsea have picked up 10 points from their opening six Premier League games, which have contained a number of controversial decisions.

Last month, the decision to allow two controversial Tottenham goals in a fierce 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge prompted Tuchel to declare that referee Anthony Taylor should no longer officiate Chelsea games, comments that led to him being fined for the Football Association (FA).

Meanwhile, on Saturday, West Ham had a potential last-gasp draw against the Blues denied by a VAR review after a collision between Edouard Mendy and Jarrod Bowen, a decision David Moyes described as “outrageous” when he accused Mendy. to fake injury.

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Asked to comment on the plethora of perceived mistakes made in recent weeks, Tuchel asked: “What can I say now to be clear and not pay a fine again? Where is the line?

“Maybe it’s better if other people talk about it, our last three home games were like… I don’t need that anymore. Red cards, VAR decisions, goals scored, decisions not made where it’s obvious to make them.”

“Speaking of the last game, I understand the frustration, I understand the discussions about this decision. For me, it’s not a 100 per cent decision. It was against Tottenham, not now.”

“I was glad the referee got a chance to have an on-field review and then it’s his call, we’ll never have a game without mistakes, but at least it gave everyone the feeling that he made the call.”

“I understand the frustration, now maybe it’s not for me to comment too much, but I think the quality of the mistakes, no one is happy with that.”

Pressed by Moyes’ comments on Mendy, Tuchel highlighted the FA’s refusal to punish the Irons boss, adding: “I didn’t listen to the accusations and you know what happened to me when I spoke about the referee…it was quite expensive.”

“I told you after that I won’t comment anymore. I can understand their frustrations, their point of view, and we’ll leave it at that.”

Chelsea have been inconsistent during the opening weeks of the season, and Tuchel believes Tuesday’s trip to Zagreb is an ideal opportunity for the Blues to start their campaign.

“We are at a point where we need to improve. We are not entirely happy with the results,” he said.

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“We are not completely happy with our performances, so we have to take the next step and it is the Champions League, so it is very exciting.”

“We are very aware of what the challenge is, playing the first game away from home in a group stage is always difficult, it can always end in difficult situations, but I think it is very important that we accept it and play a humble game.

“We will accept the challenge and we will accept the fight, and then we can also have the belief and the confidence that we can win, but we need to act, for sure.”

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