Chelsea youngster Reece James is expected to go straight into the team when he returns from injury, ousting club stalwart Cesar Azpilicueta in the process, according to The Star.
Since Frank Lampard took over at Stamford Bridge, he has been extremely keen on nurturing the club’s younger players into the first-team fold. The likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham are two of the best examples, as both have impressed massively so far this term, scoring two and four Premier League goals respectively.
Abraham scored a second consecutive brace against Sheffield United on Saturday, just seven days after finding the net twice against Norwich, highlighting the amount of confidence the young England forward has at the minute.
Unfortunately for the Blues, Abraham’s goals weren’t enough to clinch all three points in west London as Chelsea were undone by Chris Wilder’s Blades in the last minute, though from a personal point of view the 21-year-old will be over the moon to register so many goals so early on in the campaign – he currently sits fourth in the top goalscorer charts after four games.
It is now understood, per The Star’s report that Reece James will be the next youngster Lampard starts to integrate into the first-team fold at Stamford Bridge. Although he is currently recovering from an injury sustained playing for England under-20s this summer, it is understood that when he returns to fitness the 19-year-old – who impressed last season while on loan at Wigan Athletic – will start to pick up minutes for the Blues.
Interestingly, the teenager is yet to make his first-team debut, having only featured for the club’s Under-23, Under-18 and UEFA Under-19 sides.
This news, should it come to fruition, does of course throw Cesar Azpilicueta’s place in the team into question. The Spaniard, now 30, has made over 300 appearances for Chelsea since his arrival from Marseille back in 2012, but could start to be dropped from the side if Lampard continues to place trust in youth at the Bridge.
This could perhaps be a foolish decision taken by the ex-Blues midfielder, though, as the club surely need to keep some experienced heads in the side to ensure they can compete with the biggest clubs in the Premier League and Europe.
Nurturing youth is refreshing to see from Lampard, given Chelsea’s history, but he surely needs to find a balance between that and experience if he is to be successful. “You can’t win anything with kids”, of course, were once the words of ex-Liverpool defender Alan Hansen.
Chelsea fans, would you like to see more of Reece James this season? Let us know in the comments!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!