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James relieved to have Sterling on his side

Chelsea defender Reece James has admitted his relief that he no longer has to play against “nightmare” opponent Raheem Sterling.

The former Manchester City frontman completed his £47.5million move to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to link-up with England team-mate James, and the 22-year-old defender was even happier than most at his arrival.

Speaking from Chelsea’s pre-season training camp in Los Angeles, James told the club’s official website: “Playing against him is a nightmare, so I’m pretty happy that he’s here now and I don’t need to play against him anymore!

“The way he plays, he’s so small and sharp. He looks small but you don’t realise how strong he is. He never stops and is always trying to run in behind and stuff.

“I remember he had a good game in the Champions League final. It was an even battle – he beat me a few times and I won duels a few times as well, so it was a tough game between us.”

Sterling’s capture represents a statement of intent by Chelsea, who finished third in last season’s Premier League, as they attempt to close the gap on top two City and Liverpool.

James said: “He can be quiet and he can be loud as well but he’s great to be around and a top guy off the pitch. He will bring good energy.

“On the pitch I don’t really need to talk too much about what he does. He’s been at the top of the Premier League for the past 10 years and he’s won a number of titles so hopefully he can help bring some special moments to us as well.”

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