Chelsea make SURPRISING decision over breakout star in major Reece James hint

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 12 Apr 2024 14:00 BST
  • 4 min read
Reece James, Chelsea, 2023/24

Fabrizio Romano says that Chelsea are likely to take a decision to send one of their breakout stars of the 2023/24 season on loan next term, potentially having a knock-on effect on the future of Reece James.

Alfie Gilchrist has come through the Blues’ academy system to play 12 matches for the first team this season, including six Premier League appearances.

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Although the right-back has featured only off the bench, there has been excitement over his prospects of making it big at Stamford Bridge.

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Chelsea have decided that the next stage in his development will likely to be to send him out on loan, Romano confirmed with the Daily Briefing.

Gilchrist signed a new contract with Chelsea on Tuesday, but that was simply a ploy to ensure his long-term future is at the club as the Blues see him as an important player in the years ahead.

“That’s why the West London club wanted to make sure his contract situation was 100% sorted with a good salary and why they decided to proceed with offering Gilchrist a new deal. The player is super happy about this latest contract as he loves Chelsea and will try to make steps forward within the club over the coming years,” Romano says.

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James stays, Gilchrist goes?

Gilchrist’s future is likely to be dictated by James, who has been linked with a move away from the club in the summer.

Reports suggest that Chelsea have taken the decision to sell James due to his status as an academy player who can help them with regards to Financial Fair Play.

Reece James has been hit by injury this season
© IMAGO - Reece James has been hit by injury this season

Equally, the England international has frequently been injured this season while his understudy Malo Gusto has been one of the club’s star performers this term.

FootballTransfers, though, has reported that James does not want to depart, despite interest from PSG. Under contract until 2028, Chelsea cannot force him out, and should the defender get his way, it would be a logical decision for third-choice right-back Gilchrist to be loaned out.

With Chelsea bracing themselves for this eventuality, it suggests that they do not expect James to leave.

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