'Reece is ahead right now...' Rio Ferdinand claims James is ahead of Alexander-Arnold
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Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Reece James is ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold due to his defensive qualities.
James, 22, starred for Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday night with a goal and an assist as the Blues comfortably beat the Serie A champions AC Milan.
The right back's performance was heralded post-match by the BT Sport punditry team with Ferdinand quick to compare him to Alexander-Arnold.
As it stands, he believes that James is ahead of the Liverpool right-back due to his defensive capabilities, most aptly demonstrated in his performance that saw him pocket Milan's hottest talent Rafael Leao.
Speaking post-match, the pundits couldn't help but descend into the comparison's between James and Alexander-Arnold - a night after the Liverpool star curled in a stunning free-kick in a fine performance as the Reds triumphed over Rangers.
Ferdinand revealed that he has James ahead of Alexander-Arnold due to his defensive capabilities, but also claimed he's as good going forward.
“On the ball, I believe he [James] is equally as good as Trent, but defensively he is a notch up in one versus one situations. That’s the difference between them at the moment. It is a great subplot for the Premier League.
“The best players have a rivalry and they will push each other. In my eyes, Reece is ahead right now, but Trent will come out of this spell and that could change.”
Rio Ferdinand almost got there with his analysis on Reece James.— George Addo Jnr (@addojunr) October 5, 2022
Only failed to say Reece is the BEST right back in the world.🔥💙pic.twitter.com/7Yxvq3Xxg0
Both performed incredibly well for their respective club's this week in the Champions League just as Manchester City's Kyle Walker has been reported as being a major doubt for the World Cup.
James started both games during the last international break at right wing-back with Alexander-Arnold left out of both matchday squads.
The next month could see them both competing for that right-back spot, with Newcastle's Kieran Trippier also in the mix. Gareth Southgate even claimed that the former Atletico Madrid right-back is currently ahead of the Liverpool defender.
According to Ferdinand, we could see the pair battle it out in an intense 'rivalry' over the coming years.