Reece James Reveals the Turning Point in His Chelsea Career as a Teenager

Reece James Reveals the Turning Point in His Chelsea Career as a Teenager

Elijah Odetokun
March 9, 2023 at 5:03 PM
  • Chelsea defender Reece James is one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and Europe
  • He came through the Cobham academy and made his senior debut under Frank Lampard
  • The Blues' 23-year-old star has opened up on the turning point in his career as a teenager

Chelsea has one of the best academies in the world and have produced outstanding talents at the Cobham facilities, but only a few have made it into the first team at the club.

Former owner, Roman Abramovich's relentless spending made it hard for academy graduates to make the first team.

It took a two-window transfer ban for the gates to open for the youngster into the senior team.

Reece James, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, UEFA Champions League, Stamford Bridge.
Reece James applauding Chelsea fans after the 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. Photo by Clive Rose.
Source: Getty Images

Frank Lampard opened the pathway in the 2019/20 season and there has been significant progress since then. The legend debuted eight academy players, including current first-team stars, Reece James and Mason Mount, as reported by Tribuna.

Exciting feature: Check out news exactly for YOU ➡️ click on "Recommended for you" and enjoy!

James reveals career turning point

As reported by Athletic UK, James is one of Chelsea's highest-paid players, with a salary of £250,000 per week. He reflected on his progress through grassroots football in an interview with England Football.

“There was probably a stage where I was close to getting released around the age of 15 or 16. I was probably one of the worst in the group and they were unsure of how I was going to develop,” he said.

However, James said the club took a gamble on him by awarding him a contract.

“...I had to work hard to prove to people that I can play and achieve what I want to achieve,” he added.

He has progressed significantly to be one of the best in the world in his position and is currently being groomed to be the captain of the club in future, as reported by Telegraph UK.

Reece James, Chelsea, Cobham.
Reece James was named Chelsea academy player of the year in 2018. Photo by Darren Walsh.
Source: Getty Images

James on his position change

The powerful defender began his career as a striker before moving to midfield and later to right-back. He named former striker, Didier Drogba as his idol.

“When I was growing up, I was a striker and I idolised [Drogba]. He played in my team, he played in my position and I always looked up to him. I just wanted to be like him, score like him and celebrate like him,” he said.
“I stopped playing striker around the age of 11 or 12 and moved my way back into midfield. I had three or four years there and then found myself at right back around the age of 15,” he added.

James dreams of Droga partnership

James is one of the best crossers in the world right now, while Drogba was one of the best headers.

As Sports Brief reported, the Blues star picked the former player as one he would love to play with.

Drogba left Chelsea for a second time in 2015 while James debuted in 2019, after the Ivorian retired.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Editor- EPL I Serie A
English Premier League - EPL