Reece James is currently enjoying a breakthrough season at Chelsea. The 20-year-old has featured for the Blues 23 times so far, including five appearances in the Champions League.
The Englishman has certainly benefited from Frank Lampard’s arrival, with the manager opting to trust the club’s youth products and establish a long-term vision for his side. James has been the perfect example of such, with the full-back quickly becoming a bit of a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge.
In a recent interview with FourFourTwo though, James has revealed that he in-fact snubbed his current manager last season: “He wanted to sign me for Derby last January, but it didn’t go through. I was happy playing at Wigan.”
Chelsea’s academy product was sent on loan to the Latics back in 2018, where the full-back established himself as a key starter and gained some valuable experience. Incredibly, he only missed one league game all season, helping his side avoid relegation, gaining plenty of plaudits for his performances in the process.
His decision to remain with Wigan during the season has, however, clearly not hindered his relationship with Lampard. Speaking about his first-team minutes with Chelsea during this campaign, James has paid tribute to the Chelsea boss: “We spoke when he arrived and he said he wanted to give me a chance. I was injured, and he told me to come back in the best shape possible. I’m thankful that I’ve got to work with him.”
Lampard’s faith in the youngster has certainly paid off, with the right-back starting in seven of Chelsea’s last eight Premier League games. James has evidently earnt his manager’s trust and looks set to be an important member of the Blues’ squad for years to come.