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Reece James aiming to captain Chelsea next season

Chelsea defender Reece James wants to captain the club next season following the departure of long-time leader Cesar Azpilicueta this summer.

The armband is vacant, and new manager Mauricio Pochettino must decide who to give it to. The Argentine has admitted that James is in the running.

Chelsea’s hierarchy has been preparing him for a leadership role at the club, but they will have to fast-track him following the departure of several key figures at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante have all left the club over the past months meaning there is a leadership vacuum.

Speaking ahead of their Premier League Summer Series clash with Newcastle United, James said (via Standard Sport): “I’ve been at Chelsea my whole life and it’s something I’ve always dreamt of.

“When the time’s right, hopefully, it happens.

“I think everyone has a different way of being a leader. Some speak, and some show their actions on the field. I think I could do both. I’d like to think so [anyway].

“I try and help my team as much as I can. There are a lot of young players, and I’ll be one to help them where I can.”

James will hope to put an injury-riddled 2022/23 campaign behind him after missing half of the games Chelsea played last term.

There were worries he had suffered another setback when he underwent a scan a few days ago and did not join the squad as they travelled to the United States for their pre-season training.

However, they discovered he was only unwell and is available for the game against the Magpies.

The England international will hope he can make an impression. New right-back Malo Gusto has already starred in Chelsea’s first two pre-season games.

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