Reece James' surprise absence from Chelsea squad explained by Graham Potter following shock defeat to Southampton

Reece James Chelsea Dortmund Champions League 2022-23Getty
  • Potter explains James' absence
  • James played against West Ham and Dortmund
  • Chelsea lost 1-0 to Southampton

WHAT HAPPENED? The England international did not play any part in Chelsea's shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of rock-bottom Southampton. Potter suggested that he wanted to give the full-back some rest after he featured in back-to-back matches against West Ham and Borussia Dortmund within the space of just four days.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters after the game, Potter said: "With the others, there were no injuries, it was more just the turnaround of the games and the demand of the games, considering a few of them have had injuries previously.

"Certainly with Reece, he’d had two 90 minutes, which is more than we expected at the start of the week. So it was just a case of managing the load and managing the squad."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Blues are now winless in their last five matches in all competitions and have won just twice in their last 10 Premier League encounters.


Graham Potter Chelsea 2022-23 Getty Images


WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Potter's men will next face Tottenham Hotspur on February 26 in a crucial Premier League encounter.

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