Reece James has showered Chelsea teammate Nicolas Jackson with huge praise after his latest performance in pre-season.

Most supporters will have been fairly sceptical this summer when Chelsea signed Nicolas Jackson for £32million (Evening Standard) from Villarreal.

However, the Blues supporters are now beginning to really warm to the 22-year-old following a string of eye-catching performances during the pre-season tour of the United States. In particular, he’s scored in back-to-back games against Brighton and Newcastle United to highlight his quality as a natural centre-forward.

Chelsea FC v Newcastle United: Premier League Summer Series
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images for Premier League

Reece James, who captained Chelsea during Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle, did applaud Jackson’s impact since joining during his post-match comments.

“He’s got big shoes to fill. Chelsea’s No 9 has got a big history. He’s come in at a good time. So far, he’s taken his chances, and he’s helping us at the top of the pitch,” James told NBC Sports.

From the outside looking in, Jackson looks like a breath of fresh air.

He’s a proper No 9 that provides a Blues an outlet up top with his pace, movement and general strength.

It’s been great to watch him have the ability to mix his game up in terms of running in behind or demanding the ball to feet.

Chelsea Pre-Season Training Session
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Jackson’s goal against Newcastle this week was a composed low finish with his favoured right foot. Similarly, he finished in style against Brighton.

Hopefully, Chelsea now have a forward that can think in a calm manner in front of goal.

Blues head coach Mauricio Pochettino said after the Newcastle win, via Ben Jacobs’ Twitter, that Jackson is “very relaxed” with his finishing.

We’re going to truly learn about Jackson once the pre-season is over and he starts playing in the Premier League, but the signs all look extremely positive for his future.

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