Reece James on the verge of realising childhood dream with Chelsea


eece James is desperate to avoid another Wembley heartbreak in tomorrow’s FA Cup Final and fulfil his childhood dream of lifting a trophy with Chelsea.

After experiencing the pain of defeat to Arsenal last year, the defender is determined to make amends — and believes victory against Leicester will set up an unforgettable end to the season.

Thomas Tuchel’s side are also in the Champions League Final and have it in their own hands to secure a top-four finish. But their immediate focus is on the Cup, with the memories of last year’s 2-1 defeat still fresh in the mind.

James said: “Losing a final, you just switch everything off and go home. Obviously, it was a terrible feeling losing a final against a London rival as well. You’ve gone all the way and at the last stage you want to get your hands on the trophy. When you don’t achieve that, it is disappointing.

“I don’t think you need to lose a final to know you don’t want to lose. Hopefully, this time, we can put that right, get our hands on the trophy. Hopefully, this is the first of two this season.”

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James added: “I always dreamed of playing in a final as a Chelsea player growing up. It has always been my dream to win trophies for the club.

“Growing up as a kid, I watched the first team lift many trophies and coming through the academy we lifted many trophies, played in many finals and won many competitions.

“So I think it’s part of Chelsea’s DNA to win trophies. Hopefully, we can do that again.

“It would be my first trophy for the club and that would be another dream come true.”

The very fact Chelsea are on the verge of an FA Cup and Champions League double underlines the remarkable turnaround managed by Tuchel after Frank Lampard was sacked in January.

Thomas Tuchel takes full responsibility for Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal

James said: “Obviously I was upset, because Frank is the one that took me under his wing, introduced me to the first team and gave me the opportunity to play for the club. I was devastated that he was going.

“It was a crazy situation for anyone to walk into or walk out of, but [Tuchel] made it very clear what our goals were for this season. One of them was to finish in the top four and the other one was winning trophies. We are in two finals, so that is definitely possible.”

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