Chelsea extending 20-year-old rising star’s stay at the Bridge would be a welcome move

Why Reece James’ new Chelsea contract would be the right step

The Daily Star suggests that Chelsea are willing to hand Reece James a new contract as the club is preparing for transfer deals.

James, 20, is a product of Chelsea’s youth ranks. He was on loan last year at Wigan Athletic in the Championship. He was an ever-present member in Paul Cook’s squad that finished 18th in the league last season.

This term, an ankle injury delayed his return to Chelsea but since his return, he has been a consistent member under Frank Lampard and has performed impressively.

Manchester United's Brandon Williams shields the ball against Chelsea's Reece James in the Carabao Cup. (Getty Images)
Manchester United’s Brandon Williams shields the ball against Chelsea’s Reece James in the Carabao Cup. (Getty Images)

In 14 games for the Blues, James has scored and assisted twice each, including the equalizing goal against Ajax in the Champions League which ended in a 4-4 draw.

An improvement in his game has put club captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s position in doubt and Lampard has constantly made the English youngster play at right-back while shifting the captain to the opposite side.

The 20-year-old is highly regarded within the club and seems to have a big future ahead of him. Thus, Chelsea extending his term with the club must be a reward for his bright displays.

The England U21 international can develop under Lampard, who has given a lot of opportunities to youngsters after FIFA banned them from signing players last summer. And now that he has grown into a first-team product, Chelsea cannot afford to lose a player like him with enough qualities.

Reece James (Getty Images)
Reece James (Getty Images)

The Blues were on a fine run of form until their match against Manchester City, where their inconsistency showed up. In the 4 matches they have played since then, Lampard’s men have won just once and their loss to Everton was one of their worst performances of the season.

At the moment, Lampard has only two right-backs at his disposal – one being Reece James and the other is Azpilicueta. The Spaniard has been a long-term member of the squad and considering his age (30), James would be the right person to take the spot from the captain.

The London-born right-back has also impressed while going forward and his crucial goal against Ajax shows that he has the ability to join the team’s attack and deliver in demanding situations. A home-grown player, James can also develop himself to lead their team in the future.

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Reece James (Getty Images)
Reece James (Getty Images)

Verdict

Just like other youth academy prospects – Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori who have done their part excellently well for Chelsea, James too has shown character and ambition to succeed with the Blues. Thus, if he is given enough chances, he would definitely prove to be a mainstay in the team.

Therefore, by extending his contract with the club, Chelsea would take the right step, which can be of immense help to both the club and James.

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Written by Indhrajit James

Hi, I am Indhrajit James from the Soul of India, Odisha. An English graduate who worships the incredible game of football. An avid follower of European football, playing and discussing this game is something that I cannot take out of my life.
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