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Reece James makes Sadio Mane claim and sends Alexander-Arnold message

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Reece James has lauded Liverpool’s Sadio Mane as one of the toughest players he has faced in his career to date.

The England international, who heads into Euro 2020 as a European champion at club-level after helping Chelsea beat Man City last month, caught the eye in the Champions League final as he kept Raheem Sterling quiet.



And when reflecting on his season for Thomas Tuchel’s side, he admitted he considers both the former Red and Mane as the toughest two players he has locked horns with on the flanks.



“Everyone knows how good a player Raheem Sterling is,” he admitted to reporters. “It’s very hard playing against him.



“He’s probably one of the best wingers in the world at this moment in time and we’re going to need him for this tournament.

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“Raheem Sterling is definitely up there (as the toughest) and I’d probably say (Sadio) Mane as well.”

Heading into Euro 2020, James will face less competition to make Gareth Southgate’s starting XI following Trent Alexander-Arnold ’s withdrawal from the squad through injury.

Ruing his Liverpool counterpart’s absence despite it enhancing his own chances of starting, the Chelsea right-back paid tribute to the 22-year-old as he acknowledged he faces a long-term battle to start for England.

“There are a number of good right-backs in this position,” he said.

“Obviously Trent pulled out and there are so many others that didn’t get selected as well.

“Since he got injured, I haven’t really spoken to him. It’s disappointing he’s not here but we know how much of a good player he is and how well he has done for Liverpool and England as well.

“The position has changed slightly.

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"Maybe before, 15 or 20 years ago, you were more of a defender but now the position has adapted and you have the license to go forward as well.

“You can kind of do both, attack and defend, and there are loads of great players in my position (who can do that).”


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