Chelsea FC manager Frank Lampard has hailed the impact from Reece James after he bagged his first Champions League goal in the thrilling 4-4 draw against Ajax on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old has been used sparingly from the starting lineup for the Blues and he had to contend with another bench role with Cesar Azpilicueta preferred at right back.
However, with the Blues trailing 3-1 at the break, Lampard chose to ring in the changes and James was brought on to the field for Marcos Alonso, who had a tough time on the left side of the defence against Ziyech.
Thereafter, Azpilicueta switched to left-back for James to feature in his preferred position and the youngster made the best use of the opportunity by grabbing the crunch levelling goal to make it 4-4.
Aside from this, he was impressive with just one pass going astray during his 45 minutes on the field and he even came up with a couple of precise crosses towards the end which were not capitalised upon.
Following the game, Lampard has praised the qualities of the Blues graduate and believes the teenager has the credentials to evolve into a top player at the west London side.
“Reece is a fantastic young player. He gives what you saw, and he will get much better because he’s 19. I felt we needed to change to get a bit more for us on the right-hand side,” he told via Chelsea’s website.
“Reece can deliver crosses with great quality. He’s powerful and joins in. He knows we have Azpi there, our captain, but there are things we can do to change sometimes. He’s going to be a top player for the club. He’s got great quality.”