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    Malo Gusto not scared of battling Chelsea captain Reece James.

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    Malo Gusto not scared of battling Chelsea captain Reece James.
    • February 23, 2024 • 2 months ago
    in summary
    Gusto has excelled this season as cover for injured James. Chelsea captain not expected to return to action until March 20-year-old Gusto keen to prove point in Sunday's Carabao Cup final

    The twenty-year old Malo Gusto stands firm that he is not afraid of competing with his Captain Reece James for playing time at right-back.

    Evidence

    Malo Gusto completed a permanent move from Lyon to Chelsea in January 2023, signing a contract to 2030. The exciting young right-back then returned to Lyon on loan to spend the remainder of the 2022/23 season continuing his development in Ligue 1.

    Reece James who was made Captain this summer, missed two months with a hamstring injury earlier this campaign and is now hoping to return after another three months clamped with the same problem.

    Reece James
    Reece James in action against Manchester city 

    Gusto has managed to perform in Mauricio Pochettino's squad in Reece James' absence, the French defender has trotted out that  he is enjoying working alongside James as he seeks to improve.

    Gusto and Pochettino

    "Reece is a big player. One of the best players in this position," Gusto told The Athletic. "It's not good for the team [that he is out injured] as Reece is the captain and it's not good for everyone in the club. But me, I have to be ready and take every chance.

    "We talk a lot. I try to help him, he tries to help me as well. It's a good competition between him and me. We are not similar (as players), but when we are on the pitch we try to help the team, keeping a good mentality, to score and to assist. That's what we have to do."

    With James not due back until March, Gusto will once again start for Chelsea in Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

    "This trophy can be good for this young team," he continued. "To show everyone we are not just young. We are young but, on the pitch, it's not about how old you are, you know? You have to keep pushing, game after game.

    "[It helps] we live the same thing together, because we are all young. We try to help each other every day. We talk a lot. It's good to stay with people like you - it will be nice for the future. [Winning a trophy] can be nice for our mentality, to help us become better until the end of the season. We have to keep working to show the fans we are Chelsea and we need to win everything.

    "We have to take the opportunity. We don't have a choice. We have to win every game. We are young, but it is not an excuse. We have a lot of quality and we want to win everything. This is a good opportunity for us to improve.

    "But [the season] is not finished after this game. We have another one in the FA Cup. We have the Premier League as well - we have to keep moving forward, to keep a winning way.

    "Maybe we did not start the season very well, but we have to finish well. That is what we will try to do."

    Wembley awaits as Chelsea take on Liverpool in a mouth-watering Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

    While the Reds are after a record-extending 10th triumph in the competition, and what they hope will be the first of four trophies in Jurgen Klopp's last season in charge, Chelsea are hunting their first silverware under Mauricio Pochettino.

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