Ashley Cole reckons Chelsea full-back Reece James has similar qualities to his England team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold. The 20-year-old has firmly established himself as Chelsea’s first-choice right-back, keeping club captain Cesar Azpilicueta on the bench.
James has impressed many over the last season-and-a-half with his offensive capabilities.
His crossing ability, in particular, has drawn plaudits from several Chelsea observers, many of whom believe he’s added a different facet to the west Londoners’ attack.
Cole is among those impressed by the youngster’s attacking prowess, which he’s likened to that of his Liverpool counterpart Alexander-Arnold.
“He’s similar to Trent [Alexander-Arnold] the variety and quality of his crossing in wide areas I think is very good,” Cole said of James during an appearance on ITV.
“Trent is great on the ball, he’s a great footballer, and he’s very smart and a lot wiser than his age suggests.
“But in international football, you get a lot more time on the ball, so I think Trent would be number one, but Reece would be a fantastic back-up.”
England manager Gareth Southgate is delighted to have both James and Alexander-Arnold at his disposal, recently saying: “It’s an area of the pitch where we are blessed.
“Reece and Trent have both played as wing-backs as well as full-backs.
“They are in outstanding form and we are probably stronger there than in any other position.
“Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] is a very good defender, one against one he’s probably as good as I have seen, but I have to look at the balance of the team and currently there are players ahead of him.”