Reece James says Chelsea will be gunning for “as many trophies as possible” next season after securing the Champions League crown last Saturday in Portugal.
It represented a stunning five-month turnaround under Thomas Tuchel since he replaced Frank Lampard at the helm in west London back in January. The Blues stumbled their way to fourth place and were beaten in the FA Cup final by Leicester City but put that all to one side in Porto.
The 1-0 victory over Man City in European club football’s biggest game secured a second Champions League triumph for the club and the first since 2012 as the team from the King’s Road became the Kings of Europe once again.
Tuchel is expected to be backed by Roman Abramovich this summer to bolster Chelsea’s ranks even further but there is also the expectation that some will also be moved on.
The head coach chose, or more to the point didn’t have time, to keep the squad as it was after his arrival at Cobham but with a full summer ahead of him to plan, the squad could look a shade different next season though wholesale changes are not expected.
James, who starred in the final against City and had a very strong end to the season, was named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championships as one of four right backs.
But he is already looking ahead further than that with regards to his club, where he has nailed down the right wing-back position and sent a warning to the team that he has beaten three times in the last two months in City.
“There’s many young players in this team, we’ve won the Champions League now and we’re only going to grow and get stronger as a team,” he said.
“Next season we have to go for many more trophies and see what happens.”
Pep Guardiola’s City side swatted aside all comers in the second half of the Premier League campaign to win the title at a canter, while they also secured the Carabao Cup earlier this year.
The FA Cup and the Champions League though were a bridge too far for the Etihad outfit as they found Tuchel and Chelsea in the way twice.
No doubt those defeats will see Guardiola’s side come back even stronger and City Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has already said the club will be gunning for a marquee signing this summer to replace Sergio Aguero, who left the club to join Barcelona after the Champions League final loss.
Abramovich is set to not only hand Tuchel funds to compete this summer but also a new and improved contract for the German, who has impressed hugely since coming to the club, after what football.london understands was a positive meeting between the pair in the aftermath of the Champions League final victory.