Reece James’ attacking prowess from full-back is proving a huge asset, according to Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard.
The 20-year-old turned in an impressive display at right-back during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Burnley – his superb cross for Tammy Abraham to make it 2-0 one of several dangerous deliveries.
Chelsea’s former youth-team captain has made 11 appearances in the Premier League following a successful loan spell at Wigan Athletic last season and Lampard believes he has the gifts to play a huge part in his future plans.
“He’s got a great, great delivery of cross and more than that. He’s good on the ball, he’s physically so good and he’s so young. This is just the start for him,” the Blues boss told a post-match news conference.
“The way I want us to play, the full-backs are going to be huge for us. If I want to get it right and get it to where I want it they have to be able to join in, they have to be an attacking threat.
“He certainly is for us. He’s a big weapon at the minute that we have to use well. We have to anticipate those crosses now because they come in with a lot of juice on them.
“We have to be ready to anticipate and get across people and make goals like we did with the Tammy one.”
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Abraham moved on to 15 goals for the campaign but could arguably have walked away with the matchball after a profligate second half.
“I hope he’s upset tonight because he should have had two or three. That’s how a striker will be. I know Tammy’s like that,” Lampard added.
“At the same time, he got his goal. He keeps getting in there, his energy, his personality on the pitch.
“He’s that all-round striker. Obviously the next stage is can you be a bit more clinical but I’m delighted with Tammy.”