Reece James picks favoured Chelsea position after seeing Lampard embrace his versatility

Goal.com

Reece James acknowledges that his versatility has helped him to make a senior breakthrough at Chelsea, but the 20-year-old is looking to nail down a regular role at right-back.

Frank Lampard has opened the door for a number of academy graduates at Stamford Bridge in the 2019-20 campaign.

Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have all seen regular game time for the Blues, while earning international recognition with England.

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James is yet to make that step up, amid competition from the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but he has taken in 26 appearances for Chelsea.

Those outings have come on the back of a productive loan spell at Wigan in 2019-20 which saw the youngster thrive in a midfield role.

Lampard has looked to use him in a more defensive post this season, but has the option to push a highly-rated youngster further up the field if needed.

James is pleased to have more than one string to his bow, but is prepared to pick out one favoured position.

He told Sky Sports: "I probably prefer right-back but there is not much in it.

"I will happily play right-back and midfield - I have played there enough that I am comfortable playing that position as well."

Reece James Chelsea 2019-20
Reece James Chelsea 2019-20

James is just happy to see competitive minutes at this stage of his career, with the London native and boyhood Chelsea fan aware that he remains on a steep learning curve.

Lampard’s faith has allowed further potential to be unlocked this term, with the England U21 international delighted to have earned a prominent place in the plans of a Premier League heavyweight.

He added on his efforts to date: "This season was slow getting started, because I was injured at the start.

"But, as I found my rhythm and the season has gone on, I think my performances have picked up.

"I think it's great that loads of players I played with coming through the academy are now in the first team as well.

"I think it shows how hard the academy works and the effort they put in to produce good players."

Chelsea entered the coronavirus-enforced lockdown sat inside the Premier League’s top four, still battling for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and through to the last eight of the FA Cup.

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