Chelsea’s academy has been home to some of Europe’s brightest young talents over the years, though more often than not, they’re forced to settle for a life away from Stamford Bridge – with youth progression effectively non-existent at the club.
Over the next few years, though, that’s something that simply has to change. There are just too many talented players in the academy at present, and it would simply be a failing of the club if a few of them weren’t to make it in the first team.
There are a number of high-profile individuals that have made headlines across the country over the last few months, like Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi, but another player that – in 5 years in time – should be involved at Stamford Bridge is young Reece James.
An imposing defender, James is strong, consistent and technically gifted, and he’s able to play across the backline. He’s reminiscent of Cesar Azpilicueta, to a point, given how useful he is in defence.
The Englishman has been a captain of the academy for a few years, but he’s spending this season on loan at Wigan, and he’s impressing. In fact, he was named Man of the Match for the Latics against Hull City on Tuesday, and that indicates the sort of impact that he’s made.
Hopefully first of many pic.twitter.com/1xEgTzH0xG
— Reece James (@reecejames69) September 19, 2018
At just 18-years-old, James is a player with bags of natural ability, and there is no doubting that he’ll continue to grow with more game time. A year at Wigan this year, then perhaps another year elsewhere next season, could see the teenager emerge into one of Europe’s most recognised young talents, and he may start to earn the same reputation of Hudson-Odoi or Ampadu. Even better, perhaps he could look to emulate John Terry and be the new homegrown star of the Chelsea defence.
Either way, in terms of raw ability and usefulness, James is up there with the best in the Chelsea academy.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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