Former Chelsea defender, Mario Melchiot, is in no doubt whatsoever that the Blues’ young star, Reece James, will be as good as Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds’ right-back is universally accepted to be one of the best full-backs in world football, but the Dutchman believes that James also has what it takes to go right to the very top of the professional game.
“When you talk about Alexander-Arnold I’m excited about him (James) and the way he plays,” Melchiot countered, quoted by the Daily Star.
“He switches the play really comfortably. Wan-Bissaka is more defensive. But Reece James has the ability, he has the strength. He has the speed to keep up with people, and he knows how to work it.
“There are still a couple of things he needs to add to his game but if he can become a regular with Chelsea he can compete with those two guys and why wouldn’t he want to do that? That’s why we play football – to compete with the best.”
James enjoyed a successful loan spell at Wigan last season, and upon his return has forced his way into Chelsea’s first-team under Frank Lampard’s tutelage.
It could be serendipitous that the 20-year-old has broken through at this moment, baring in mind that Lampard is known for bringing through young talent.
Furthermore, the fact that the youngster can play anywhere across the back four and in midfield gives him the versatility in his play to allow him to become a real asset for Lampard moving forward.
Clearly, he has a way to go to attain the same status as Alexander-Arnold, but he would appear to be moving in the right direction.