Crystal Palace opinion: The Eagles should sign Reece James
According to a report in football.london, Crystal Palace are looking to sign Chelsea youngster Reece James. The 19-year-old was out on loan for Championship side Wigan Athletic and was their player of the season. Eventually, they had to get relegated but James stood out like a sore thumb throughout the season.
He played as a right-back in most of his games but is just as capable of playing in centre-back or any midfield position, based on his abilities. James is a supremely gifted footballer at such a young age. He has great technique, often taking free-kicks and putting in some fantastic crosses.
He is also very strong and athletic and is ready for the physical challenges that he will have to face in the Premier League. He’s also taken up some leadership roles and is unlike most 19-year-old footballers.
He’s ready for first-team football in the Premier League and he’d be a fantastic replacement for the departed Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
James could end up going back to Chelsea with Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge. Lampard has indicated that he’s looking to use the academy graduates in a more prominent role. The Chelsea academy have been extremely successful in the last couple of years with domestic and European titles.
It’s long been an issue at the club, which was only recently addressed with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi finally getting a chance. The club in the past have lost talented young players and don’t want to be committing the same mistakes now.
This has almost been forced by the transfer ban but it had to take place eventually, as Chelsea aren’t the only team with a lot of money in the Premier League anymore. Cesar Azpiliqueta wasn’t his usual best at right-back last season after many years as a third centre-back.
Palace, on the other hand, have lost their best player from last season in Aaron Wan-Bisakka and will find it hard replacing him but James would be an immediate solution to those problems. Wan-Bissaka was the best defensive full-back in the Premier League last season and was also the best dribbler in those positions.
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Those are massive boots to fill but James is almost a perfect choice. Palace should ideally think of a loan deal because it would be bizarre for Chelsea to not see James in their long-term plans.