Chelsea: Reece James back with a bang to remind England what he can do ahead of Euro 2024

Remember me? Reece James (AFP via Getty Images)
Remember me? Reece James (AFP via Getty Images)

Watch out Premier League, Reece James is back.

Like a caged animal, the club captain, who was out injured for over five months, made a spectacular late cameo at the City Ground.

The 24-year-old defender will have been stewing, getting angrier and angrier after his latest setback at the end of last year, and today ran onto the pitch with a point to prove.

Immediately after coming on in the 79th minute, he demanded the ball from Malo Gusto, who duly obliged.

He then powered past the defence and put in a devastating warning shot, forcing a clearance from under the crossbar.

A Chelsea fan holds aloft a James shirt after the game (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
A Chelsea fan holds aloft a James shirt after the game (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Next, in the 80th minute, he commanded possession from his teammates, moving the ball from his right side to Raheem Sterling’s left so he could equalise.

Just two minutes later, in the 82nd minute, he whipped his trademark cross allowing Nicolas Jackson to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The result was harsh on Forest, who were excellent but also a show of might about what’s possible from Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad, if all players are available.

Christopher Nkunku, Reece James, Malo Gusto and Raheem Sterling are spectacular options from the bench.

They helped fight back from 2-1 down after a Wily Boly header and spectacular Callum Hudson-Odoi finish put Nuno Espirito Santo’s side back ahead after Mykhailo Mudryk’s eighth-minute strike.

But the returning James stole the show, put his hamstring injury behind him and chants of “Reece James, he’s one of our own” were again being chanted from the away end.

It was only 18 minutes long but so spectacular was his comeback that Gareth Southgate must be thinking about him again ahead of the European Championships this summer.