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Gareth Southgate opens door to Chelsea's Reece James making Euro 2024 squad

:Headline: Gareth Southgate opens door to Chelsea's Reece James making Euro 2024 squad:
England manager Gareth Southgate reveals that there is still an opportunity for Reece James to play his way into their squad for the European Championships this summer.
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Gareth Southgate has revealed that there is still a possibility Reece James could be in England's Euro 2024 squad this summer.

James has not featured for Chelsea since sustaining yet another hamstring injury back in December at Goodison Park against Everton.

This is the right-back's seventh hamstring injury in just three years, as James flew out to Finland to undergo surgery in attempts to rectify the lingering problem.

Despite being one of the most competitive positions in the England setup though, Southgate has not ruled out a spot on the plane for James in June.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all fighting for a starting spot at the Euros, with James facing a race to get fit in time to stake his claim.

The Chelsea full-back missed the 2022 World Cup, and played just once at Euro 2020, when England were beaten finalists.

However, after naming his squad for friendlies against Brazil and Belgium this month, Southgate appeared keen to keep the player in his plans.

"No, I think we don't have an exact date for him coming back but we would hope he would have some games before the Euros." Southgate revealed.

"Could he play seven games in the Euros? His record over the last few years would suggest no, but is he a top level player who could provide something important? No question.

"So yeah again he is another one who the first step is get back into training, get back into the team and build that physical resistance as quickly as you can."

Walker appears the most likely candidate to start at right-back for the Three Lions, based on previous tournaments and recent international windows, while there could be a spot in midfield for Alexander-Arnold.

Injuries at left-back to Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell means that Trippier may be used at left-back, but there could still be space for another right-back if Southgate opts to use Walker in a back three as he has done in the past.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has stated that James will not be rushed back with the Euros in mind though, given his record of picking up recurrences of previous injuries.

James has played just eight league matches this season, after only managing 16 in the whole of last season, and he only featured in one of England's Euro 2024 qualifiers. body check tags ::

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