Blues select Reece James as captain and Chilwell is new vice-captain

Chelsea's Reece James (L) and Ben Chilwell. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea's Reece James (L) and Ben Chilwell. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /
Reece James and Ben Chilwell after they've won the Champions League
Reece James (left) and Ben Chilwell of Chelsea celebrate after the Blues won the 2021 UEFA Champions League. James and Chilwell have been named team captain and vice-captain, respectively, ahead of the 2023-24 season, (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

Cobham graduate Reece James takes over as new Chelsea skipper

Following the departure of Cesar Azpilicueta, who had dedicated 10 years to the club and captained for five of those years, the Blues have officially handed the armband to Reece James in anticipation of the upcoming season.

From the outset, James was a primary contender for the role and coach Mauricio Pochettino made it official, entrusting the leadership of the squad to the 23-year-old defender.

“This is a decision taken by me and the club. We are very pleased Reece will captain the side this season,” said Pochettino, according to The 5th Stand, the official app of Chelsea FC.

From the academy to senior team captain

Reece James, who joined the club at the age of 6, had consistently expressed his aspiration to become the captain one day. His father, Nigel James, who operates his own coaching academy and previously served as an assistant coach for Swansea, has also mentioned this on several occasions.

Reece played a crucial role in the club’s achievements, starting from his time with the U-18 team. During that period, he contributed to winning the FA Cup twice. After a loan spell at Wigan, he joined the senior squad in the 2019/2020 season under Frank Lampard and continued to be a key player. His contributions were vital to the team’s Champions League victory in 2021.

Despite missing numerous games last season due to injuries, he has been consistently featured in matches under Pochettino’s management and has effectively impressed the coach.

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Chelsea appoints Chilwell as new vice-captain

With Jorginho’s move to Arsenal, the club was in need of a new vice-captain. Although many fans expected Thiago Silva to fill the role, considering his occasional stints last season, the Blues surprised by appointing Ben Chilwell for the task.