Gareth Southgate’s inclusion of Reece James in the England squad called up for the current international break was seen largely as a symbolic gesture, with little hope or expectation of James actually joining up with the team. (Unless you were looking to mine that decision for headline drama of course.)
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said as much in his press conference after Saturday’s game, making it clear that the 22-year-old will be completing his recovery from his latest hamstring injury at the club rather than with the national team.
“Petr Čech will have this chat [with England] because, of course, the recommendation is that [Reecey] does not go. He is still in individual training, otherwise, we would have brought him to Lille and we would have brought him here (to Middlesbrough) for sure.
“There is no doubt about it. He is still in individual training, he needs one more week of rehabilitation. I think we can provide this much better – it is not the job of the national team to do this.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
And sure enough, England have confirmed that James is among the four players who have withdrawn from the team, joining Tammy Abraham, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Aaron Ramsdale. James has been replaced by first-timer Tyrick Mitchell, while others joining up include Kyle Walker-Peters, Sam Johnstone, and Ollie Watkins.
Mason Mount remains with the team as they take on Switzerland and Côte d’Ivoire in a pair of friendlies.
An update from the #ThreeLions camp, with four players not reporting and four players joining the squad… pic.twitter.com/QAJfv4AYgx— England (@England) March 21, 2022