Chelsea right-back Reece James has been singled out as the best of the club’s young players coming through at the moment.
The 19-year-old has burst onto the scene in recent games after also impressing on loan at Wigan last season, and he joins a number of other academy players in shining for the senior side this term.
Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi have also looked hugely impressive for Chelsea, but pundit Paul Merson, speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate last night, has suggested James looks the pick of the bunch.
“Reece James, I think Reece James is the best out of all of them,” Merson is quoted by HITC.
“(Ruben) Loftus-Cheek isn’t even in the squad yet. Chelsea could have six or seven players playing in the England team.”
Merson also praised the ‘phenomenal’ job done by new Blues manager Frank Lampard, whose appointment looked a real gamble when he joined from Derby County in the summer.
The 41-year-old is as inexperienced in management as many of his players are on the pitch, but the west Londoners seem to have got things right so far after a fine recent run, with Merson defending the manager after some criticism from Jose Mourinho.
“I think that’s a bit harsh, Mourinho,” Merson said. “The Man United game at the start of the season, that was never a 4-0. That could have swung either way.
“Liverpool in the Super Cup, I thought Chelsea were just as good that day. Ajax are a very good team, very good team. Let’s look at the positive, they are 4-1 down and they come back to draw 4-4, and they probably should have won the game.
“And against Man United, he rested players. And it took a worldie goal to win the game. I think Frank has done phenomenal.”