Reece James: Praise for the Chelsea defender has been plentiful and thoroughly deserved

It has been said that Chelsea’s Reece James is in “the form of his life” and, judging off last night’s Champions League victory, it could be hard to argue against this

It’s a pretty good time to be a Chelsea fan at the moment. League form is looking ominous and the Blues have made a strong start to their Champions League defence.

Last night’s 4-0 demolition of Italian giants Juventus at Stamford Bridge sealed a place in the last-16 stage of the competition with one match to spare.

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There were stand out performances across the board from Thomas Tuchel’s men, but none deserved the praise more than Reece James.

The fullback has been in outstanding form this season, both defensively and with his contributions going forward.

In nine Premier League matches he’s played this season, James has four goals and four assists.

Reece James of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and Juventus at Stamford Bridge on November 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

His goal last night, a sweet strike into the bottom corner, was his first Champions League goal of the campaign.

Pundits and associates alike have lined up to heap praise on James, who is quickly becoming one of the most consistent performing defenders in the Premier League.

Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole admires the first touch of James, describing it as “velvet” in the wake of last night’s victory and comparing it to that of a seasoned striker.

Speaking on BT Sports, Cole said: ‘I have been banging the drum for Reece James for years. 

“I remember coming back and training with the team after being in America. 

“His [James] touch is velvet... and when he gets in front of goal it’s like your top, top strikers’ level of composure and technique.” 

Former Rangers and Scotland forward Ally McCoist was also quick to complement James’ recent form during an assessment of Chelsea’s victory on TalkSport.

McCoist said: “[James] has been phenomenal, he’s in the form of his life. With his goal I thought, initially, Szczęsny [Juventus goalkeeper] could have done more, but it’s the pace and the power that beats him.

“He had another effort as well about 15 minutes earlier where the keeper made a great save.”

James has gone from strength to strength this season and although it’s only November, he’s already enjoying his highest scoring Premier League season.

The praise is thoroughly deserved and, if the consistency continues, James is sure to play a vital role in what could be a hugely successful season at Stamford Bridge.