Chelsea star makes bold ‘10-15 years’ claim amid women’s football comparison
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Having both begun their footballing careers in Chelsea’s youth system, the siblings are both now leading talents in their respective leagues.
Reece joined the West London side aged six and, 16 years later, had started the 2022/2023 season as one of Chelsea’s top-performing players before a knee injury counted him out of the Blues’ Premier League campaign and stopped him boarding the plane to Qatar with Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Lauren, meanwhile, is enjoying a breakthrough season at Kingsmeadow after rejoining the Blues from Manchester United in the summer of 2021. Under the tutelage of Emma Hayes, one of the finest coaches of the women’s game, the 21-year-old forward has been lining up alongside world class players such as Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder as she rapidly establishes herself as a regular starter for the Women’s Super League leaders.
Her performances earned her the attention of Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman, who handed James her senior international debut in September. With Ellen White having hung up her boots after Euro 2022 success and Beth Mead a serious doubt for England’s World Cup 2023 campaign, the Dutch coach is having to rethink her attacking options for the tournament, and James presents a seriously strong option.
On Wednesday, Reece - whose playing style fans have dubbed freaklishly similar to Lauren’s - gave a strong vote of confidence for his sister’s inclusion.
Taking time out to participate in a Twitter Q&A, Reece was asked how proud he is to see Lauren play for the Blues.
“Super proud of @laurenjamess22!!” James replied.
“She inspires me everyday and will continue to.
“I believe she is the best women footballer in the world, and will be for the next 10-15 years, without doubt.
“She’s technically better than some Prem players.”
Chelsea women will continue their bid for the WSL title away at basement side Leicester City on Saturday before travelling to Spain to take on Real Madrid in a Group A Champions League fixture next Tuesday.