Reece James performed a Dream Team miracle last season – what can he achieve in 2022/23?

At the risk of being dramatic, Reece James (£5.5m) performed a Dream Team miracle last season.

Chelsea’s rampaging right-back somehow managed to amass 209 points in 2021/22 despite the fact he missed 19 games through injury.

PLAY DREAM TEAM NOW – £100,000 IN PRIZE MONEY UP FOR GRABS!

The 22-year-old was out for two months with a hamstring injury between late December and late February as well as suffering subsequent setbacks in March and April.

Registering a double century of Dream Team points is rare for a defender even without such a significant lay-off.

Last season, Joel Matip (£5m), Andy Robertson (£5.5m), Virgil van Dijk (£6m), Joao Cancelo (£6.5m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£6.5m) were the only others defenders to reach the landmark.

Of those names, Matip was the only one not to play at least 4,000 minutes in all competitions – James played 2,864 minutes.

The Cobham graduate averaged the same points-per-game (5.4) as Cancelo, who was the fourth-best performer among all assets.

16 players achieved 200+ points last term and so for James to be among that elite group despite missing so many games is genuinely remarkable.

So how did the England international do it?

When fit, James rivalled Alexander-Arnold for attacking output – he scored five goals and provided nine assists 26 Premier League appearances.

That breaks down further to a goal involvement every 133.2 minutes – a stat that puts plenty of widely-respected forwards to shame!

Add in a goal in the Champions League and an assist in the Carabao Cup and it’s no wonder the Stamford Bridge faithful rate him so highly.

And naturally, as a defender, he benefits from any clean sheets he contributes at a rate of five points a pop.

The Blues may have tailed off in the league after a strong first third but generally speaking their defence has been resolute since Tuchel’s appointment as Frank Lampard’s replacement.

The emergence of superstar full-backs has arguably been the most influential change in Dream Team over the last five years.

If James can avoid serious setbacks this coming season – cue Chelsea fans touching wood – then he could Alexander-Arnold and Cancelo in the race to 300 points.

At £5.5m he’s £1m cheaper than the Liverpool and Man City stars and he’s set to face Everton (16th last season), Leeds (17th) and Southampton (15th) in August.

PLAY DREAM TEAM NOW FOR FREE WITH £100k IN PRIZE MONEY

Most read in Dream Team

FEELING BLUE

TIN HAT TIME

OVERSIGHT

ON POINT

HORSEPLAY

COUT SHORT

Source: Read Full Article