Chelsea have reportedly snubbed two separate offers from Crystal Palace for youngster Reece James to suggest that they see him playing a key role moving forward.
The 19-year-old spent last season on loan at Wigan and made 46 appearances for the Latics, gaining crucial playing time and experience to help improve and develop his game.
Although he has yet to make an appearance for the senior Chelsea side, he has impressed at youth level and has won a whole host of trophies including two FA Youth Cups and two U18 Premier League titles.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Chelsea are keen on keeping hold of him, and The Independent now report that they’ve rejected a £25m offer from Palace, as well as an 18-month loan deal, which would suggest that the Blues plan on giving James a chance when he recovers from injury.
That would fit the general expectation under Frank Lampard, who is expected to give youth a chance this season with Chelsea’s transfer ban in mind coupled with the fact that he did well at Derby County last season in bringing younger players through.
James fits the mould in that sense and the report adds that a new contract is likely to be offered by Chelsea, which is another indication of how highly they rate him.
In turn, time will tell whether or not he commits his long-term future, but the signs are surely promising from both Lampard and the club to suggest that he will have opportunities at Stamford Bridge alongside the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.