Crystal Palace are considering impressive Chelsea youngster Reece James to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer.
According to The Sun, Palace are willing to make Chelsea prospect James their first choice right-back to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who recently joined Manchester United.
The youngster impressed last season on-loan with Championship side Wigan, winning the Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season.
James is back at Chelsea but will apparently not be sent back out on loan again until the Blues hear from FIFA about their transfer ban.
Beating Davide Zappacosta (per WhoScored) in almost every defensive aspect last season, albeit in far more games, the 19-year-old might even be a strong back-up for Cesar Azpilicueta next season, especially with the Italian linked (Sky Sports) with a move away.
James even made more clearances per 90 minutes of league action last season than the aforementioned Chelsea duo and only marginally fell behind Azpilicueta in terms of interceptions (0.9 to 1.1) and blocks (0.3 to 0.4), while he was also dribbled past less (0.5 to 0.8) than the far more experienced Spaniard.
Chelsea’s new boss Frank Lampard may have only been in management for a year but it’s already clear how much he values youth. The likes of Mason Mount, 20, Fikayo Tomori, 21, and Harry Wilson, 22, were all handed key roles in Derby County’s run to the play-off final.
While opportunities for Blues youngsters have been given sparingly over the years, Lampard has previously spoken about his eagerness to experiment with some of the club’s emerging talent this season.
Even prior to Lampard’s appointment, there were suggestions from the Independent that the club rated James so highly that they were considering offering him a new deal and making him a part of the first-team squad. Furthermore, Jody Morris (who has also returned to the club obviously) has talked up the player on Instagram (via Football.London) in the past, so it’s clear to see he has the backing of those behind the scenes.
Chelsea fans, would you like to see James given a chance next season? Let us know in the comments below…
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