Kal Naismith explained to Jay Whittle how hard it was training with Chelsea full-back Reece James when they were together at Wigan Athletic.

The Chelsea youngster enjoyed a highly successful loan spell with the Latics in 2018/19.

There he played alongside Naismith, who now features for Luton Town.

The pair were reunited when Chelsea defeated Luton in the FA Cup fourth round last month.

Chelsea v Luton Town: The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 24: Kal Naismith of Luton Town is tackled by Reece James of Chelsea during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and Luton Town at Stamford Bridge on January 24, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

This brought back memories for Naismith of their Wigan days and how tough James was to train with.

“He’s ridiculous player, scary scary good,” he said.

“I remember at Wigan if anybody got the ball and Reece came to them, they’d just take a touch and pass it.

“Nobody wanted him to get near you. He was too strong, too powerful. Just take the ball off you, make you feel like a kid.”

Wigan Athletic v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship
WIGAN, ENGLAND – APRIL 14: Reece James of Wigan Athletic during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Norwich City at DW Stadium on April 14, 2019 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Even before the Blues took on their Championship opponents in the cup, Naismith had James on his mind.

“Going into the game, I knew I was left wing back he was right wing back.

“In the back of my mind, I thought if I get the ball and he does come close to me, I just need to give it someone else because I’ve not got a great chance of getting past this kid.

“Nobody can get past him in the Premier League.”

James worked up his experience with Wigan in the second division before becoming a Chelsea regular.

He was named the clubs Player of the Year, having made 46 appearances across all competitions.

West Bromwich Albion v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Third Round
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 05: WBA player Wes Hoolahan is beaten to the ball by Reece James of Wigan during the FA Cup Third Round match between West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic at The Hawthorns on January 5, 2019 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Frank Lampard recalled him back to the Blues the following campaign and has been a mainstay of the side ever since.

Although Thomas Tuchel is yet to settle on a consistent starting XI, it seems James will certainly be part of the German’s long-term plans.

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