Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has given a positive verdict on Chelsea youngster Reece James, who is seen as his rival for England’s right-back position on the international stage.
22-year-old Alexander-Arnold, who is a key part of a Liverpool team that won the Premier League title last season, is regarded by plenty as the world’s leading right-back.
But Chelsea have their own top-class right-back in academy graduate James and he continues to keep improving for Frank Lampard’s side.
The 20-year-old has such a lethal cross on him into the box and is great going forward, while defensively he’s getting better in one-on-one situations and has to be considered one of the strongest players in the team.
“He has shown since he came in over the last year or so that he is a good player, solid defensively and good going forward,” Alexander-Arnold told the Evening Standard.
“He is an all-round right-back and probably up there with some of the best in the [Premier] League. He is still young and has a lot to learn but as for his talent and potential he is a very good player.”
Alexander-Arnold has very much sat the bar in the past couple of years in terms of being an attack-minded full-back and he’s been such a creative threat in a highly successful Liverpool team.
But regular Chelsea watchers will know that James isn’t far behind in terms of his technical ability and that’s why there is a fascinating battle between the England teammates for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI.
Despite having brilliant club captain Cesar Azpilicueta available, Chelsea boss Lampard appears to have settled on James as his first-choice right-back and that in itself shows how much he’s improved in the past year.
He’s now a mainstay in a backline that looks much more improved with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy behind it and has been really impressive so far this season.