Chelsea’s Reece James is turning into a star before our eyes

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Reece James of England during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on October 14, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Reece James of England during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on October 14, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images) /

With the youngster becoming one of Chelsea’s best players consistently, Reece James is quickly becoming a star in world football for the Blues.

A year ago, Reece James was a young man still waiting for a real chance in the Premier League. Today, my biased opinion would tell you Reece James is the best right-back in England. This young man is quickly becoming a star in West London, and what a player he’s developing into.

Defensively, James has become one of Chelsea’s most reliable players. Game in and game out you see him tracking back on the right channel, defending incredibly against some of the best attackers in the world, like Bruno Fernandes, or Marcus Rashford when he played against Manchester United. You never see James get exposed for bad positioning, and he’s almost never to blame for conceding. Usually, James receives praise for thwarting attacks. His ability to tackle is up there with the best fullbacks in the world.

His crossing ability is absolutely outrageous. This is a man who can take the ball basically anywhere on his right foot and drop it on a dime in the penalty area for a striker, like Timo Werner to attack. Time and time again, balls go into that box that end up in that little corridor of uncertainty between the opposition back four and the goalkeeper. It’s a dangerous task trying to defend crosses from James and he really is developing into one of Chelsea’s best offensive weapons, despite spending nearly 250 million on players. It seems the homegrown talent is still finding a way to flourish in the Chelsea first team.

We all remember the absolute firecracker James scored against Brighton at the beginning of the season. It was nothing short of a screamer from the fullback. He looks like a natural finisher when he’s in front of goal, and with every passing game, he looks more and more complete as a fullback who can contribute at both ends of the pitch. Against Rennes in midweek, his cross for the Tammy Abraham goal was absolutely outstanding and he had another delivery which, bar a fantastic defensive touch, would have resulted in Timo Werner’s third goal of the game and the hat trick for the German. Reece James has been absolutely incredible with the ball on his foot.

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Another feather in the cap of the young Englishman is his versatility. He can play at right back, right wing back, or at central defensive midfield, where he has played before albeit never at the Premier League level. He played multiple times for Wigan Athletic on his loan spell there at defensive midfield and with great benefits. He’s becoming impossible to leave out of the side and that is something you always want in a youngster. He’s trying to make the decision for Frank Lampard with Cesar Azpilicueta as difficult as he can. It’s very encouraging to see because, as much as Azpilicueta is loved, we all know the club captain is getting on in age. He’s likely not going to remain at Chelsea for much longer, sadly. Reece James in that aspect, is coming through the academy at the perfect time for the Blues.

I have been a Chelsea football club fan since I was a little boy. But I cannot remember a right back with the skill set. When you go back through the Chelsea greats, there’s no one that sticks out being as magnificent defensively as James, while being able to knock a fly off a blade of grass on the penalty spot out wide, or able to test the net durability as well as Reece James can. It’s an incredibly unusual combination, combined with his cannon of a right foot. There’s a lot of good English right backs around the world right now. Yet Reece James very well may be the cream of the crop yet. He’s already looking more and more like a diamond in this Chelsea team. I’m aware he might not be the flashiest player. He might not end up on the score sheet every week, but he’s an absolute beast for the blues and I honestly think we could witness the emergence of a super star talent at that right back spot in the future for Chelsea.

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Am I overhyping Reece James? Probably. I am an Englishman talking about an England and Chelsea fullback. He’s one of the best things since sliced bread for me. Anyway, feel free to tell me why I’m wrong and let me know what you think about Reece James in his role with Chelsea Football Club.