'Link up started today': Reece James sends exciting message over new partnership with Ziyech

Chelsea right-back Reece James has apparently found a new partner in Hakim Ziyech as the pair performed together for the first time in pre-season friendly against Brighton.

The 20-year-old has been closer and closer to claiming the first-choice right-back spot towards the end of the season.

Although the back-three system Lampard in the last few games of the season certainly helped, as team captain Cesar Azpilicueta played on the right side of the three centre-backs.

The right-back competition will likely be fierce between the young talent and the experienced veteran, but his newfound partnership with Ziyech could help the former’s case.

James wrote on his Instagram: “Nice feeling to get some minutes in the legs today.

“The link up started today,” he added as he mentioned Hakim Ziyech’s Instagram account.

The England U-21 star is known for his crossing abilities with his right foot, while Ziyech tends to cross from deep or cut inside with his left foot.

James often makes overlapping runs which would create space for Ziyech, while also offer options for Ziyech to pass it wide to him.

In the build-up to Timo Werner’s goal against Brighton, it was exactly what happened when James’ positioning created the space for Ziyech to make his famous diagonal ball to Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Having these two on the same side of the pitch would certainly excite the Chelsea fans ahead of the new season.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.