Reece James has revealed he initially joined Chelsea as a striker during his early years, admitting he never wanted to be a right-back.
The 21-year-old has emerged as one of Chelsea and England’s most promising talents at the right wing-back role.
The seven-capped England international featured 47 times last season as the Blues sneaked into the Premier League top four and took home the Champions League.
His form earned him a position in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 –where the Three Lions finished the competition as runners up.
“When I first arrived at Chelsea, I was a striker but then moved to midfield for a couple of seasons,” James told the club’s official website.
“Then, when I was about 15, I found myself playing right-back because there were better players in midfield. I hated it for maybe two or three years and never wanted to play there!
“But one day it just clicked and I started loving it. I think the penny just dropped that I wouldn’t be playing midfield anymore and this was my new position.
“[Then] I signed my first professional contract when I was 17. I wanted to be a professional ever since I was a young boy here. I was over the moon.”
Meanwhile, James is nearing a return from the injury that has kept him sidelined since the Blues’ final match of 2021.
The England international was forced off in the 1-1 draw with Brighton at Stamford Bridge on 29 December and scans revealed he had torn his hamstring.