Joe Cole praises Reece James for his Chelsea performance in Champions League

Joe Cole gave Chelsea defender Reece James a special mention after he helped his side record a comfortable 3-0 victory in midweek.

The Blues hosted French outfit Rennes on Wednesday night in the Champions League group stages and earned three valuable points, with Timo Werner (two) and Tammy Abraham on the scoresheet.

Frank Lampard’s side continued to take strides forward with yet another impressive performance and there is now a defensive toughness that didn’t previously exit last year.

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

James is playing an important role at right-back, while Ben Chilwell works in a similar fashion on the opposite flank from left-back.

The back four is completed by a centre-back partnership in Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma that continues to develop, plus there is also colossus goalkeeper Edouard Mendy behind them who has six clean sheets in seven games since he joined Chelsea.

Cole raved about full-back James after his European display and explained how he’s had no difficulties adjusting to the top level:

“I’ve always known the lad’s talent, but he’s taken to professional first-team elite football like a duck to water,” Cole told BT Sport 2 (10:25pm, 4 November).

“His technique, his ability to put it on a sixpence from anywhere sort of 30 yards near the goal, he can put it where he wants his right foot is that good.”

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

James was integrated to the first-team squad last season by Lampard and he’s one of several major talent to come through the academy ranks in recent years.

The 20-year-old appears to have taken the reigns from club captain Cesar Azpilicueta as the first-choice right-back at Stamford Bridge, which is a sign of how much quality he already has at such a young age.

He’s an attack-minded right-back that assisted Abraham’s goal against Rennes and regular Chelsea fans will know that his crossing is always of the highest standard.

It’s also important to note that the defensive side of his game continues to improve as well, with experienced Brazilian Silva rubbing off on all his teammates.

A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.