Chelsea news: Reece James desperate to become latest starlet to get into Frank Lampard’s side

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‘This is the team I support, this has always been my dream’: Chelsea youngster Reece James desperate to become latest starlet to get into Frank Lampard’s side

  • Reece James impressed on loan at Championship side Wigan last season 
  • The 19-year-old is hoping his experience battling relegation will help him  
  • Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is believed to rate the youngster highly  
  • James could prove competition for under-fire skipper Cesar Azpilicueta 

Full back Reece James has admitted he hopes to become a regular starter under Frank Lampard at Chelsea this season, following his successful loan spell at Wigan.

The 19-year-old had attracted the attention of eight other Premier League sides in the summer transfer window, but remained at Stamford Bridge to battle for first-team football under the Blues’ new manager.

And James admitted that, whilst he would prefer not to be sidelined at his boyhood club, he is prepared to be patient for his chance to impress. 

Chelsea's Reece James has admitted he hopes to become a first-team player at the club

Chelsea’s Reece James has admitted he hopes to become a first-team player at the club

The youngster told The Independent: ‘At the end of the day, if you’re a footballer, your job is to play. I would always prefer to play than sit around. If I’m not, I’m not going to be happy, but there are certain situations where you have to be patient. 

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‘Frank Lampard is a club legend, he’s someone I’ve always looked up to. If a manager believes in youth and believes in you then, eventually, you know the chance will come. Ever since I’ve been at Chelsea, my dream has been to become a first-team player.’

James is currently battling through rehabilitation after ankle surgery, but has been tipped by the Chelsea boss to feature prominently after his return. 

James but will likely battle with Cesar Azpilicueta for the right back position when he returns

James but will likely battle with Cesar Azpilicueta for the right back position when he returns

REECE JAMES’ CAREER

Age: 19

Position: Full back

Clubs:

Chelsea (2017-)

Wigan (2018-19, loan)

45 appearances

3 goals

1 assist 

International:

England U18/19/20s

23 appearances 

 

The starlet will compete for his spot with current club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who was heavily criticised for a poor performance in Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday. 

James believes that his experience scrapping in a relegation dogfight at Wigan last campaign could prove pivotal in his breakthrough at Chelsea. 

‘Even though I’m young, I proved I have the fight and I let my ability talk,’ he said. ‘It’s given me so much more confidence. Once I’d played a few games, nobody took any notice of my age, they just saw me as another player. 

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‘When we were fighting relegation, losing three, four, five games on the bounce, it was tough to take. I don’t think there are many players who’ve got the advantage of having that same experience.’

After Wigan successfully avoided the drop, James returned to the capital with renewed hopes of a league debut for Chelsea – and admitted Callum Hudson-Odoi’s emergence from the academy has set an example.     

The starlet believes his experience battling relegation with Wigan could help him at Chelsea

The starlet believes his experience battling relegation with Wigan could help him at Chelsea

He added: ‘It’s great to have people coming through the academy on a similar journey to me. I’ve known Callum for over 10 years and seen him play for the club and realise his dream. 

‘At the start of this season, you could argue he wasn’t getting as much game time as he wanted, but he showed that if you’re good enough, the pathway is always there. 

‘I never thought it would be too hard to break into the first-team. Now I’ve just got to hope I’ll get my chance and, when I do, I’ll do everything to take it and earn that recognition.’



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