World Cup final: Chelsea boss Hayes tips James to start vs Spain

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Group D - China v England - Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia - August 1, 2023 England's Lauren James celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has said Lauren James would be ready to start the World Cup final in England if called up by manager Sarina Wiegman.

James was sent off in the round of 16 with Nigeria and missed out on quarter-final and semi-final wins. But the striker has only been banned for two games and is available for selection again.

Hayes, who was speaking at the FIFA women’s football convention in Sydney, said she had spoken to James and the striker would be ready if given the green light.

“I think you know, I’m a manager, but picking someone else’s team isn’t my job, it’s Sarina’s,” Hayes said when asked if James had to start.

“These players are prepared for whatever is going on and for the team that Sarina has chosen.” I’m sure Lauren would be ready.

“First of all it’s about England as a team and England as a whole and they’ve all stepped up and filled in, whether it’s Katie Zelem replacing Keira Walsh or Ella Toone at least replacing Lauren James after this quarter-final.

“Lauren is an outstanding player and will continue to contribute many more times for club and country. As always, she will be thoughtful and move forward with this.

“I (spoke to) him always (to wish him good luck) and to bring him some Murray Mints. She loves Murray Mints.

James signed for Chelsea in 2021 and won two WSL titles and two FA Cups under coach Hayes

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