Chelsea’s Reece James nullifies Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha on his Premier League debut as Chelsea defeats local rivals by 2-0.
Reece James is one of the brightest young prospects in Chelsea’s squad and his hype is increasing with every minute he is spending on the pitch.
Today, the 19-year-old player started ahead of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta at the right-back position, and the young defender was impressive as he was successfully able to compete Wilfried Zaha, who is deemed as a lethal winger.
It is hard to face Zaha while he is on the ball, especially one on one. However, James handled the situation well and nullified all the efforts of Zaha. In a video of Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves analysing James’ performance on BT Sport and it’s quite fascinating.
Watch the video
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This was not the only area where James impressed. The 19-year-old player was also great in attack. His stats after the game speak for him as the player recorded an 85% pass accuracy, four successful dribbles, four crosses, three fouls drawn, three interceptions and two tackles.
Meanwhile, this was the first time in the last 70 games when Azpilicueta did not start for the Blues. In fact, the Spaniard had started 147 of the Blues’ past 148 Premier League games.
With time, Azpilicueta has aged and doesn’t have the steam which the Englishman provides. Thus, soon we can see the Spaniard fading away from the top spot in the pecking order and giving way to James.
James is lightning quick, is comfortable drifting inside into a central position and can whip in some beautiful crosses, departments in which the Chelsea captain has been lacking in this season.
Meanwhile, Chelsea has been able to pick itself after the sluggish start to the season, and are contesting for the 2nd spot in the league against Manchester City.