Chelsea Name James As New Captain

Reece James will take charge at Chelsea this season as they remain without a captain since Cesar Azpilicueta left for Atletico Madrid earlier in the summer.

Liam Twomey of The Athletic has reported on this as part of an overhaul at the club that was “massively disruptive” for its players.

Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino gained experience as a defender for Newell’s Old Boys of Argentina and Espanyol of Spain before switching into coaching in January 2009. Espanyol under his tutelage rose into the top half of LaLiga during that season before finishing eighth overall in 2010.

Mauricio Pochettino became manager of Tottenham Hotspur in May 2014 and quickly led them to their first league title in three seasons and two domestic cup finals, along with their return into UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2006.

Liam Twomey suggests that Chelsea’s haste in hiring Pochettino could indicate their perception that they were hasty in firing Tuchel, leading to tension within their ranks, contributing to current frustrations at the club and contributing to its current climate.

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Reece James

Reece James can now call himself proud after becoming Chelsea’s new club captain, fulfilling a lifelong goal and fulfilling the desire of many academy graduates over time. James, 23, will lead out Chelsea for their opening Premier League match of 2018 against Liverpool this Sunday.

James has become one of the first names on the team sheet since joining Chelsea as part of their senior squad in 2019. Unfortunately, repeated injuries have prevented him from playing as many matches as desired.

Cobham-born fullback Harry Maguire has been part of the club for 17 years, and understands all the responsibilities that come with being captain. Mauricio Pochettino and the club’s joint sporting directors believe he should replace Cesar Azpilicueta in this role – although veteran Brazilian defender Thiago Silva was also considered. As captain, Maguire must avoid injury issues that have plagued him the past two seasons to maximize his potential and contribute fully to club goals.

Chelsea’s new captain

After an off-the-field season that saw Chelsea relegated, a new ownership structure under Todd Boehly (of LA Dodgers fame) was put in place with hopes that this would usher in a period of stability for Chelsea as they began a new era.

James was given an immense responsibility after being named captain of the Blues by new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pre-season had seen him leading his side and working hard to win him over.

Cezar Azpilicueta moved on to Atletico Madrid during the summer and his successor would face a tough challenge to succeed him as captain of Chelsea FC. Mauricio Pochettino appointed James, known for his commanding presence at the back, and it will be interesting to watch how well he meets expectations and demands of his new role – sure to provide great drama at Stamford Bridge!

First match as captain

Although he may not have the silverware collected by previous captains such as Azpilicueta and Terry, James has proven himself an outstanding choice for the club. He leads by example and inspires those around him while being an excellent defender who won’t hesitate to put himself out there for his team.

Not to shy away from controversy, he was embroiled in the club’s infamous sex scandal back in 2012 and later took on the role of youth coach after an initial loan period at Wigan Athletic.

Kepa’s departure has opened the door for another captain to fill this role next season; candidates include Jorginho, Kovacic, Thiago Silva, Mason Mount or Reece James as possible options.

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Spurs Set to Enter Race For Southampton Midfielder James Ward-Prowse

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse could leave this summer. West Ham have previously submitted bids worth PS40m for him but Spurs could steal a march with new manager Ange Postecoglou hoping to add depth.

Ward-Prowse may draw mockery for his age and price point when shopping at St Mary’s, but he certainly ticks all of the necessary boxes.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

At the start of this season, several Premier League clubs are chasing Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse. It is anticipated that he will leave St Mary’s following their relegation and is drawing considerable interest from various elite English clubs; Manchester City in particular.

The Citizens are looking for an England international to replace Ilkay Gundogan who’s set to leave on a free transfer this summer. They have made two bids but both were rejected by Saints who expect an exchange fee in excess of PS40million for their captain.

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But in order to meet that price, the Championship winners will need to move swiftly. Nuno Esprito Santo has already identified Stefan Bajcetic and Curtis Jones as replacements for Gary Cahill, but adding a top-quality set-piece expert would further strengthen their squad. Rumors abound of talks taking place between Nuno Esprito Santo’s club and Ward-Prowse’s representatives regarding joining this summer – something Nuno Esprito Santo has done via Stefan Bajcetic and Curtis Jones were already identified as Gary Cahill replacements by Nuno Esprito Santo.

Manchester United

With midfielders Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba set to leave Manchester United this summer, Manchester United are keen on adding strength to their ranks. According to reports, they could make an approach for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.

Football Insider reports that David Moyes has identified him as one of his top three summer targets. Saints captain Kyle Barnett is known for his free-kick expertise, with hopes to join England at World Cup 2019. Furthermore, he would prefer playing at a bigger club such as United.

Manchester City are also eager to sign the England international, and have made Ward-Prowse an aim in their rebuild plans under new manager Erik ten Hag. Manchester United also want him, and may try and convince him before his contract runs out in 2026, though Saints may hold out and seek an increased fee from Manchester.

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Manchester City

Manchester City are keen on signing Saints captain Thomas as they look for someone to replace Ilkay Gundogan after he expires this summer and the Blues seek an effective replacement to add depth in their midfield options.

Blues reportedly want Ward-Prowse as one of their main targets with Southampton captain impressing recently and drawing interest from top English clubs as a set-piece specialist.

West Ham have had two bids rejected for Ward-Prowse this season, yet are confident of striking a deal despite differing valuations between parties involved and David Moyes’ potential exit from talks if an agreement can’t be made on fees. Fulham are another club interested in Ward-Prowse; with Joao Palhinha seen as an alternative replacement for Declan Rice.

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Tottenham

Spurs appear poised to enter the race for Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse despite West Ham already making an approach and potentially seeking him as a replacement for Declan Rice midfielder.

Ange Postecoglou of Tottenham wants to strengthen his squad this summer, and midfielder would make an ideal addition. Already the Australian coach has secured James Maddison from Leicester City at PS40m while snapping up Guglielmo Vicario and Manor Solomon permanently on deals.

Tottenham fans are desperate for their club to find a solution to its defensive woes, having conceded 63 goals last season. Ashley Phillips from Blackburn Rovers may help, while Kieran Trippier needs someone like Ward-Prowse; currently tied to Southampton until 2026 but could leave this summer should the Saints be relegated from Premier League play-off contention.

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