Thomas Tuchel was stunned to find Reece James selected for England duty despite an ankle injury that is restricting the defender’s training schedule to exercises in the swimming pool.

‚You would assume so,‘ replied Tuchel, when asked if James had been summoned by Gareth Southgate after consultation with Chelsea and would be fit to face Southampton on Saturday. 

‚When I saw it, I thought maybe Reece goes with the England water polo team, because right now he trains in the pool.I was a bit surprised when I found out he was playing for the football team.

Reece James was forced off with an ankle injury in the defeat to Manchester City on Saturday

Thomas Tuchel admitted he was surprised that the right back was called up to play for England

Gareth Southgate named James in his 23-man squad for upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers

‚This will not happen because Reece is training in the pool right now.My last information is that he will not go. It must be a misunderstanding, nothing else.‘

Chelsea’s head coach insisted he did not expect a courtesy call from Southgate or any other international manager to check on the availability of players, and said such liaison is usually via technical director Petr Cech.

Mason Mount is back from a knock as Tuchel seeks a response to defeats against Manchester City and Juventus, and tries to free his £97.5million striker Romelu Lukaku from the shackles of opponents.

Tuchel has said that Petr Cech will negotiate James‘ withdrawal from Southgate’s squad

Chelsea caould end the weekend top if they beat winless Southampton at Stamford Bridge

Having made a prolific return to English football, Lukaku is four games without a goal and there were accusations he had become isolated during Wednesday’s defeat at Juventus.

‚Of course they isolated him,‘ said Tuchel.’It felt like there were seven players around him all the time in the box. They did it good – and in their style – but it is not a general problem.

‚Teams are well prepared against us. I see Zenit play a back-five for the first time in 200 matches. I see Aston Villa play a back-five when they never play a back-five.

‚Fair enough, they are looking to close us down when maybe before they were looking to beat us. They are looking to close down Romelu and bring him into spaces where he does not feel so comfortable.

‚It is part of our success and our development and the next step.There are solutions and we are on it. We have to accept it, not get angry or annoyed about it. There’s always a solution.‘

Tuchel also urged Timo Werner not to become frustrated by his limited involvement since Lukaku’s arrival from Inter Milan.

‚He is a healthy young guy who has the best job in the world at one of the best clubs in the world,‘ he said. ‚He has no reason to be frustrated. There are 100 reasons to be happy.

‚Full on in training, spot on and fight for your place.The same for everybody. Life is good. There is no need to be frustrated.

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