Football News

Lampard hints at “big” role for Reece James after Azpilicueta’s struggles in Man Utd 4-0 Chelsea

By J Smith

Published: 19:03, 11 August 2019

Frank Lampard has hinted that English youngster Reece James may be a “big player” for Chelsea this season, following the Blues’ 4-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Despite being one of the Premier League’s most consistent defenders in recent years, Chelsea stalwart Cesar Azpilicueta was at fault for two of United’s goals, while he was also slow to react when Daniel James fired in a fourth in his Red Devils debut.

James to get his chance? Five key things to know…

  • Chelsea lost 4-0 to Man Utd on Sunday.
  • That is their biggest defeat to the Red Devils in the Premier League era.
  • Azpilicueta was at fault for three of United’s goals.
  • Lampard says James will be a “big player” for Chelsea this season.
  • The youngster is currently sidelined after ankle surgery.

And when asked after the game whether or not his team selection was shaped by injuries, Lampard did concede his options were limited before hinting that 19-year-old James, who is sidelined after ankle surgery, could play a “big” role upon his return.

“Yeah, it’s clear. I’ve tried to stay away from transfer bans and injuries but it’s clear, we all know that,” Lampard said.

“I tried to bring N’Golo [Kante] on to get him minutes, that’s a bonus to see him out there and we have [Antonio] Rudiger and Willian not far away.

“Callum [Hudson-Odoi] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] will be slightly further than that. Reece James coming back, who is going to be a big player for us, I think.”

The defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday was Chelsea’s biggest against Manchester United in the Premier League era and leaves Lampard’s men 19th in the table after the first round of matches.

Chelsea face Liverpool in the European Super Cup on Wednesday before hosting Leicester City on Sunday.

Chelsea fans react to Lampard’s James suggestion

Despite James being yet to feature in a senior match for Chelsea, many fans have been looking forward to seeing the right-back given his chance, especially given Lampard’s faith in young players.

And following the manager’s comments, Chelsea fans were quick to take to Twitter in agreement with Lampard, calling on James to be drafted into the side once fit.