Frank Lampard Says Reece James Gives Chelsea an Attacking 'Weapon'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2020

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Reece James of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea FC at The King Power Stadium on February 1, 2020 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said the club's young defender Reece James gives the team another "weapon" in attack. 

James has become a first-team regular this season and produced one of his best performances of the campaign on Saturday, when Chelsea drew 2-2 with Leicester City in the Premier League.

Speaking about the 20-year-old, Lampard said he's delighted with the balance that James can offer on the right flank, per Tom Doyle of the Evening Standard:

"Reece is a weapon for us in attack with his crossing—we need to get on the end of them more—but he is also very solid defensively.

"When you think of his age, you can get excited about Reece. There's a lot more he can do, obviously, but I'm really pleased with how he's developing at the minute. 

"There's all sides to his game we can work on, although I'm not going to improve his crossing, he's a bit of a natural. But at the same time we can talk about his position, his link-up with the winger who's in front of him and the midfield."

Chelsea were able to earn a creditable draw at the King Power Stadium thanks to two towering headers from centre-back Antonio Rudiger:

James is clearly benefitting from the time he spent at Wigan Athletic on loan in the previous campaign. The England youth international was one of the standout players in the Championship, winning the Latics' Player of the Year prize after excelling in a number of different positions.

Right-back appears to be where he is most comfortable, though, with the youngster showing no issues adapting to top-level football this season. James' form has prompted Lampard into shuffling the defence around at times in the 2019-20 season, with Cezar Azpilicueta occasionally used at left-back.

Football writer Peter Hall singled out James' delivery into dangerous areas for praise in the first period against Leicester:

Peter Hall @PeteHall86

Reece James' crossing really is something else. By far Chelsea's best outlet. #LEICHE

Chelsea writer Simon Phillips believes the Blues attackers should have made more of the crossing quality of James:

Simon Phillips @SiPhillipsSport

Reece James has 2 Premier League assists, in reality it should be closer to 10. https://t.co/fIaSsLNmnV

A number of young players have shone under Lampard's guidance so far this season, with the likes of Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori especially impressive. It's taken James a little longer to establish himself in the team, although he appears poised to play a big role for the remainder of the campaign.

If he continues to get minutes on a consistent basis, it's imperative the Chelsea forwards are more in tune with James' deliveries. Provided they are, the full-back will be a regular source of opportunities from the wing.