Reece James is someone that has made a brilliant breakthrough to the Chelsea first-team this season and is joined by a number of other academy graduates.

The 19-year-old defender was given his senior debut this campaign by Frank Lampard and has played nine times across all competition so far.

(Photo by Visionhaus)

He was rewarded with his first Premier League start at the weekend before the international break, where he impressed in a 2-0 home victory over Crystal Palace.

The right-back had a brilliant battle with Palace’s Zaha and proved he’s ready for the top level, while he’s also shown the attacking side of his game too for the Blues.

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

James scored and assisted in a Carabao Cup win over Grimsby Town, as well as scoring the equaliser in a famous 4-4 draw with Ajax in the Champions League group stages.

The England Under-21 international has had quite the start to senior life with Chelsea and is starting to get minutes on a more regular basis.

But he does have club captain Cesar Azpilicueta as competition for the right-back spot and it looks unlikely that Lampard can leave him out on a regular basis.

Azpilicueta made way for the victory over Palace, but perhaps it’s the senior man that has the edge in the bigger fixtures.

(Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea return after the international break with a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

It’s one of the toughest fixtures of the season and Lampard has a big decision to make.

It may be the safer bet to recall Azpilicueta, but James has not put a foot wrong when called upon and looks the long-term solution at right-back.

He would have to handle Raheem Sterling if he does start and it would be a major vote of confidence if Lampard starts him.

Have something to tell us about this article?