Harry Redknapp fires warning to Reece James over teammate’s form

Malo Gusto and Reece James
Photo: Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Ex-Premier League coach, Harry Redknapp has warned Reece James he could lose his place in Chelsea’s starting XI if his fitness troubles continue to linger, due to the emergence of Malo Gusto.

James has barely featured for the Blues this season, spending nearly five months on the sidelines as a result of hamstring-related issues.

In Reece James absence, Malo Gusto has stepped into the right-back position, impressing so much that the fans have taken a liking to him.

Chelsea are believed to be in a difficult situation financially, and may be forced to sell some of their home-grown stars to improve their standing with Financial Fair Play later this summer.

James has drawn a long-term interest from Spanish giants, Real Madrid, and the Blues might decide to cash in on their captain.

However, for Redknapp, even if the 24-year-old does remain at Stamford Bridge for longer, he may struggle to regain his position from Gusto.

Speaking after adding Gusto to his Premier League Team of the Week, Redknapp told BetVictor: “[He] keeps getting better and better for Chelsea.

“I thought he was the best player on the pitch against Newcastle. Whether it was Anthony Gordon or Miguel Almiron, they didn’t get a sniff.

“You forget this lad’s age as well; he looks a really good prospect.

“The best compliment I can give him is that they don’t really miss Reece James and Mauricio Pochettino might just have a big decision to make in that position.”

The former coach also added Cole Palmer in his Team of the Week, and said of the 21-year-old: “I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve picked [him], but how can I leave the lad out?

“Everything that Chelsea do well, inevitably comes through Palmer. He’s so composed and has such a lovely left foot. Like all the great players, he always seems to have time on the ball and plays at his own pace. He’s a class act.”