Frank Lampard has stated that Reece James could one day play in midfield, but that the Chelsea youngster’s ‘ideal position’ remains as right-back or right wing-back.
The 19-year-old made his first Premier League start for the Blues in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday and put in a superb performance to see off the threat of Wilfried Zaha.
Over his season-long loan with Wigan Athletic, James was shifted around the team, playing right-back, centre-back and also in the middle of midfield.
After an injury that saw him miss the start of the campaign, James has had to wait for his turn to get his opportunities, with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta standing in his way.
But the England U21s international is certainly in Lampard’s plans for the future and is ready to give him more opportunities.
“He’s got the abilities to go very, very far,” Lampard said. “It’s hard to cap that or not cap it, but what I see from him in training, I saw it in him at Wigan.
“Jody [Morris] and Joe [Edwards] know him well from the youth teams here and speak highly of him of talents. I saw it last year and I’m seeing it now in training.
“When you see experienced players respect young players who come train with them and see the quality, it’s always a good sign. I’ve got huge belief that he can go as far as he wants to go in the game. I’ve seen so much improvement.
“He’s raw talent and ability was there to see today. This is just the start of the story. There is a lot more to add to that. He’s going to be a big, big player for this club.
“Possibly [he could play midfield] but right back would be his favourite position. Whether right back, or wing back, or right of three centre backs, that would be his ideal position.
“At the moment as he’s coming into the team you’ll see him there, but he does have that natural round game that he can handle playing centrally and in midfield if need be.
“At the moment we’ve got good players in there that are used to playing in there but he could always do that as his career matures.