Crystal Palace were amongst a number of Premier League sides who had enquiries snubbed by Frank Lampard for Reece James this summer, according to reports.
The Telegraph reported that Chelsea turned down enquiries from as many as eight Premier League clubs, including Crystal Palace, Brighton and West Ham for the 19-year-old full-back, who spent last season on loan at Wigan Athletic.
Last year he played 45 times in the league, chipping in with three goals and three assists, and subsequently won the club’s player of the year award (as per Transfermarkt).
According to the report, Chelsea have allowed Davide Zappacosta to leave the club, meaning that Reece James is now firmly second-choice behind Cesar Azpilicueta.
Palace are lacking an option at right-back who can offer something in more advanced positions on the pitch. Roy Hodgson currently has either Joel Ward or Martin Kelly, who both have a wealth of experience behind their backs at 29, but are more defensive-minded, with neither registering an assist last term (as per WhoScored).
James does, however, bring a slightly different style to Wan-Bissaka. While he enjoyed getting forward, Wan-Bissaka was more defensive-minded, as you can tell from their WhoScored stats. In terms of their attacking stats, James’ surpass Wan-Bissaka’s quite comfortably. He averages 1 shot per game compared to 0.3 and 1.6 key passes compared to 0.4.
Considering how little the club’s forwards have scored in recent seasons, the Eagles could have done with adding some more attacking impetus throughout the team.
Indeed, finding a right-back has been tricky business as Sporting Director Dougie Freedman has said, saying that he has not found a replacement as the club want to be “sensible” with the money.
So, clearly getting James out of Stamford Bridge may have been difficult when looking at how highly-rated he is by Lampard, but the stats suggest he could have been useful to the Eagles in their current state.
How good could James have been? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!