Reece James delighted to see Raheem Sterling at Chelsea, 'Playing against him is a nightmare'

After a number of duels between the pair on the pitch, Reece James is relieved to finally have Raheem Sterling as a teammate rather than an opponent.

Raheem Sterling became Chelsea's first major signing of the transfer window this week, with the Blues acquiring him for £45million from Manchester City.

The England star has linked up with Thomas Tuchel's squad in Los Angeles, where he'll join pre-season training ahead of their season opener away to Everton on August 6.

Among those waiting to train with him in Los Angeles is England teammate Reece James, who is delighted to see Raheem Sterling join the ranks at Chelsea.

After the pair shared a number of duels together, including in the 2021 Champions League final, James insisted it's a relief to finally have Sterling as a teammate rather than an opponent.

"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!" said James.

"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 added: "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."

Fellow England international Mason Mount too knows exactly what to expect from the former Liverpool winger.

The 23-year-old midfielder said: "He's someone that I've got to know more and more over the last few years. The way he is as a person and the way he is on the pitch, he's someone who demands the highest level from himself and the players around him.

"He's been a leader and captain a few times when I've played, so he's someone that I've definitely learned a lot from, being that close to him."

Sterling, 27, won four league titles during his time at the Etihad Stadium, and Mount is convinced his winning mentality and hunger for more will aid Chelsea's cause.

He said: "We always have our competitions after training with England and he's a top, top finisher. He's a top-class player, one of the best in the world, so we just need to bring the best out of him.

"It's a massive plus for us that he has chosen Chelsea. Being back in London where he's from and close to his family, bringing his best football, that's exactly what we want."

READ MORE: Raheem Sterling: Forward completes move from Manchester City to Chelsea

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