“There’s nothing that told me”- Malo Gusto opens up Reece James ‘challenge’ at Chelsea

Malo Gusto feels there is a healthy battle with Reece James for right-back spot

Malo Gusto believes there is healthy competition between him and Reece James at Chelsea for the right-back spot. The 24-year-old has been the preferred option since the injury to James.

Gusto’s maturity to adapt to the new league has borne fruit, and the player already has two assists to his name after starting the last three Premier League games.

The former Olympique Lyon player’s presence has been significant at right-back despite James’ injury against Liverpool. Despite poor results under Mauricio Pochettino, Gusto has been one of the bright players.

Gusto says there is a healthy battle for right-back spot with James.
Gusto says there is a healthy battle for the right-back spot with James.

Last season, the Blues struggled in that position after James remained sidelined for the majority of the campaign while ageing Cesar Azpilicueta had to fill in that right-back role.

But Gusto’s signing has been remarkable, and he has done well in the absence of the Chelsea captain. He feels he has a healthy battle with James at the right-back spot, (h/t Football.London) as he told L’Équipe:

“There’s nothing that told me: no, it’s not possible. There was a voice that said to me, You can, so why would you say no? Is there a great player in your place? Yes, but you can be a great player too. It’s a challenge. It’s a healthy battle.”

Chelsea captain Reece James still recovering from hamstring injury. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea captain Reece James still recovering from a hamstring injury. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

James’ absence has hardly been noticed because Gusto has filled in perfectly at right-back despite being thrown into a different league. The Frenchman made an early impression because of his incredible understanding and chemistry with players.

James will undoubtedly be a consistent starter, and they will participate in an amicable battle for the position of right-back.

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But Gusto’s recruitment additionally gives James the much-needed rest he needs, helping him avoid injuries this campaign. Having two players available will also offer Pochettino alternatives to rotate them in every game, so hopefully, the England international returns soon to compete with Gusto.