Pat Nevin has raved about the quality of Chelsea defender Reece James and believes he’s already showing he’s a top-class talent.
After thriving out on loan at Wigan last season, the 20-year-old was introduced to the Blues first-team this campaign and he’s impressing many people.
The attack-minded right-back has completed every minute of the last three consecutive matches across all competitions and is starting to nail down his spot in Frank Lampard’s XI.
James has played in 18 senior games so far this season, scoring two goals and supplying three assists in return.
The England Under-21 international has shown he can make a real difference going forward from the right flank, while defensively he’s strong too with raw power and great pace.
Former Chelsea player Nevin insists that he’s a real talent, but is unclear on where his long-term position will be.
He’s developing into a right-back that Chelsea can rely on and looks a great solution in that position, but he’s shown he can also play anywhere across the defence and even looks comfortable in midfield.
“Looking at his performances of late it is becoming very clear that he is long away from being a one-trick pony. His tackling and recovery have been exceptional and still appear to be improving at a pace. His comfort on the ball is remarkable for one so young. In fact it is already impossible to think of him as a ‘raw’ 20-year-old,” Nevin wrote on the club’s official website.
“The other exciting thing about Reece is that he is clearly comfortable in more than one position. He played in the midfield for Wigan with distinction and when he gets the ball in those areas for Chelsea, he looks just as at home there as he does when posted out on the right side
“I am not sure I know which position he will end up playing throughout his career, the options are limitless. I do however know that he is going to be, if he isn’t already, a top international-class player.”
James should be allowed to continue to thrive from full-back right now and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is proof that you can still be a major creative threat from right-back.
Chelsea have needed a successor to captain Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back and there is no reason why James shouldn’t now be playing on a weekly basis.
He’s got all the tools to be a real success in West London and there is a lot of excitement around his future.