Football News

Thiago Silva backs Reece James to become England centurion

By Ben Green

Published: 12:05, 2 December 2021

Thiago Silva believes Reece James will go on to reach world-class status and eventually join England’s exclusive centurion club.

The 21-year-old has been in stellar form this season both defensively and offensively, with Thomas Tuchel’s men having conceded the fewest amount of goals in Europe’s top five league (six), while on a personal level, the attacking wing-back has helped himself to four Premier League goals.

Such form has culminated in Chelsea currently leading the way in the Premier League, with the Blues one point and two points ahead of champions Manchester City and title-chasers Liverpool respectively, recently strengthening their grip on top spot with a 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.

That midweek showdown with former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri was one of the few occasions James has failed contribute to the club’s scoring, with the England international kept on ice for the weekend journey to West Ham, having either assisted or scored in six of his 10 Premier League appearances this term.

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Silva, who marshals Tuchel’s backline, has recently given a glowing account of his young team-mate, whom he believes will go on to add 90+ caps to the 10 he has already collected with England during his career. He also believes he is currently on the right trajectory to reach a world-class level on day.

“I’m probably the right person to ask about Reece James as I’m a massive fan of his,” Silva told Chelsea’s official website.

“He may be young but the way he plays you think he’s been playing over 10 years in Chelsea with over 100 caps for England. He is someone who plays with such personality and great physical strength, but also great strength beyond that, and when you put it all together you’ve got yourself an exceptional player.

“That’s something he’s showing at the moment but he’s still someone who could improve because he’s young and with experience, he’s going to learn even more to become a real world-class talent.”

England centurions

As it stands there are just nine players who have received over 100 caps for the Three Lions, with Peter Shilton the current leading appearance-maker with 125, while Wayne Rooney is the nation’s all-time outfield representative, turning out for England 120 times.

David Beckham comes next with 115 caps, while Steven Gerrard made just one fewer appearance than his former international team-mate. World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore completes the top five with 108, while Ashley Cole is in esteemed company at 107.

Bobby Charlton and Frank Lampard come in next with 106 caps apiece, while Billy Wright finishes the list on 105. Current player who could go on to reach 100 caps include 26-year-old Raheem Sterling, who has 72, Harry Kane on 67, while 24-year-old Marcus Rashford already has 46.

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