Plus: Reece James reflects on a difficult 2022 and watching sister Lauren James play for Chelsea Women; Chelsea face Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League last-16 first leg tie on Wednesday; follow in our dedicated live blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms and on Soccer Special
By Eleanor Roper, Sky Sports News reporter
Chelsea spent more than £300m in January – more than the other clubs in Europe combined – but for Reece James, he still hates the January transfer window.
The likes of Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix are among eight new players who joined the Blues last month, with Fernandez setting up Felix for Chelsea’s goal against West Ham on Saturday.
While Chelsea players might be excited at the prospect of new talent joining the ranks, James told Sky Sports News that he does not enjoy those times of the year.
He said: “You know because the January period is always so busy with many games and then you’ve got transfer noise as well and it’s just all a bit too much in one month. So I just don’t really listen to too much of it.”
Much has been talked about Chelsea’s spending, as Graham Potter tries to unite his side and find a formula that works.
“I quite enjoy playing with new players, you don’t really know what to expect from them,” James reflected.
“They all come in from different places all over the world, you know different teams, they’re all here to help at the end of the day. The quicker they’re comfortable and settled, the quicker they can help.”
The challenge of bedding in new players is something Potter has been open about. While it’s exciting, some players are adapting to playing in a new league and there are also different languages to contend with.
The side is a work in progress and despite Chelsea’s recent form, the 23-year-old is optimistic about the future for the club.
“I don’t think there’s a trophy we can’t win,” he claimed.
Chelsea’s next six fixtures
- Wednesday February 15 – Borussia Dortmund (a), Champions League
- Saturday February 18 – Southampton (h), Premier League
- Sunday February 26 – Tottenham (a), Premier League, live on Sky Sports
- Saturday March 4 – Leeds (h), Premier League
- Tuesday March 7 – Borussia Dortmund (h), Champions League
- Saturday March 11 – Leicester (a), Premier League
“When that happens? I don’t know. With the team we’re building, with the structure, with all the young players, once we play together for a longer period of time and everyone gains more experience, we’re gonna be one of the best teams in the world.”
After struggling with a knee injury, James hasn’t played much football under Potter. He described 2022 as the toughest year of his life, missing large periods of play through injury and therefore being unable to take part in the World Cup.
“Sometimes you have a bad game and then you think, ‘oh I’m annoyed, I had a bad game, but I’m also happy that I’m fit,” he said of last year. “There’s always pros and cons to football.”
One con is surely not having much time to watch his sister, Lauren, play in the Women’s Super League?
“She doesn’t watch me too much and I don’t watch her too much,” he said, with Chelsea Women currently second in the WSL with a game in hand.
While they rarely play on the same day, he says getting to get games is always hard. Although he says he’ll check the WSL results and see if she scored.
With the challenges of 2022 behind him, James is looking ahead to what this year has in store.
“With time I gain experience, I learn how to deal with different things, that helps with character building and growing as a person.”