'His touch is velvet': Joe Cole lavishes praise on Chelsea FC star Reece James

Joe Cole singles out Reece James for special praise after Chelsea FC's 4-0 win over Juventus on Tuesday night

BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)
BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)

Joe Cole lavished yet more praise on Reece James after picking him as his man of the match during Chelsea FC’s 4-0 win over Juventus on Tuesday night.

James scored the Blues’ second goal of the evening to add to strikes from Trevoh Chalobah, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner as Thomas Tuchel’s men booked their place in the last 16 in style.

The 21-year-old England international has now scored five goals in all competitions for the south west London side and is the club’s top scorer thanks to his fine form in front of goal.

And former Chelsea FC midfielder Cole has been thoroughly impressed by what he has seen from James in a Blues shirt so far this term.

Speaking on BT Sport on Tuesday night, Cole said: “I have been banging the drum for Reece James for years. I remember coming back and training with the team after being in America.

“I was blown away by his technical ability. Especially for such a big, strong, athletic lad. His touch is velvet, he makes the right pass, takes the right decisions.

“When he gets in front of goal it is like your top, top strikers’ level of composure and technique.”

Asked to name his man of the match after the victory over Juventus, Cole replied: “It has to be Reece James.

“It could have been five, six, seven. But he was just a machine. Take the goal out of it – it was every part of his game.”

James will be hoping to continue his excellent form when Chelsea FC play hosts to Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Chelsea FC midfielder Ross Barkley has admitted that he is thrilled to be working under Tuchel at the south west London side despite his limited game-time this season.

The 27-year-old – who spent last season on loan to Aston Villa – has only started one game in the Premier League so far and has made eight appearances, six of those from the bench, in total under Tuchel this season.

However, the midfielder claims Tuchel is one of the top managers in world football and he is relishing working under the German.

“For me, it’s just important to keep learning from and training with the manager, because he’s one of the best managers in the world,” said Barkley.

“Then, when I get my chances, to try and chip in with goals and assists or the passes that lead to assists.

“Working with him was new to me in the summer, but from the first couple of days I could see how great the manager was.

“The training sessions are just suited to the player that I am and you’re constantly thinking. You feel like you’re a kid again, looking forward to getting onto the training pitch and getting on the ball every day.”

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