Reece James backs Chelsea teammate Nicolas Jackson after Alan Shearer’s criticism
Chelsea captain Reece James has defended teammate Nicolas Jackson following criticism from Premier League legend, Alan Shearer, who questioned whether the young striker is a natural goalscorer.
Shearer’s analysis on Match of the Day angered Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino, who felt it was too early to make sweeping judgments about the 22-year-old. But James provided a strong endorsement of Jackson’s talent and work ethic.
As reported by The Sun (h/t Daily Mail), James praised his teammate as one of the most energetic and hardworking players he has ever seen. While the youngster is still rusty, he has time on his hands to build up a reputation.
‘I don’t think he’s needed a pick-me-up once. He is one of the most energetic guys.As a striker, you go through spells when you don’t score or miss chances. He just has to keep working hard. That is what he’s done and he got his reward.’
Jackson, a £32 million summer signing from Villarreal, netted his first Chelsea hat-trick in the thrilling 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last Monday. James believes the treble will give the striker’s confidence a huge lift. Hopefully, we see more of that confidence on the pitch later tonight against Manchester City.
Shearer had singled out Jackson’s performance against Brentford as proof he struggles as a goalscorer, claiming the summer signing from Villarreal “looks very raw” and needs “a lot of help in that position.” But Mauricio Pochettino refuted Shearer’s analysis labelling Shearer’s criticism ‘dangerous’.
Shearer had pinpointed Jackson as a potential problem area after a subpar showing against Brentford, claiming the 22-year-old was too static and needed “a lot of help.” But Reece James defended his teammate against suggestions he is not a natural goalscorer. Pochettino also previously refuted Shearer’s analysis as premature and “dangerous.”
While Jackson may remain a work in progress, his hat-trick proves his abilities. James and Pochettino clearly believe Jackson just needs time to fully adjust to Chelsea and the Premier League. Shearer is one of the best strikers of his generation and knows a thing or two about scoring goals.
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Rather than write off the talented 22-year-old, James is confident Jackson has all the right attributes to become a consistent scoring threat for the Blues. Hopefully, he goes on to prove his detractors wrong in the years to come.