Newcastle United star handed major England boost as Chelsea defender ‘ruled out’ of World Cup

Chelsea defender Reece James will miss the World Cup through injury.

James sustained a knee-injury against AC Milan last month but had been hopeful of making it back in-time to feature for Gareth Southgate’s squad in Qatar. However, the defender has revealed on Twitter that although he was willing to risk his injury in Qatar, he will not feature for the Three Lions.

James wrote: ‘The minute I injured my knee, I knew the turnaround to make the World Cup would be tight. But I always felt it was possible.

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‘I've worked harder than I ever thought I could to give myself the best chance of going and truly believed I could help the team. I appreciate there was a risk on both sides, but it was one I was willing to take. Good luck to the boys. I'll be back soon. Stay safe and sending love.’

James’ confirmed absence and Kyle Walker’s continuing injury worries mean that it is likely that Newcastle United defender Kieran Trippier could start for England against Iran in their first group game on Monday, November 21. Although Southgate hasn’t released his final 26-man squad, Trippier is expected to be named in the group that heads to Qatar next week.

Trippier, 32, has 37 caps for his national side with his only goal to date coming in England’s semi-final defeat to Croatia in the 2018 tournament. Elsewhere, Nick Pope is also expected to make Southgate’s final squad that is due to be released on Thursday November 10.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Kieran Trippier of United passes the ball during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Newcastle United at Friends Provident St. Mary's Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Southampton, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)