Ex-Wigan Athletic ace Reece James makes Champions League debut... after praise from boss Frank Lampard

Reece James last night
Reece James last night

Former Latics star Reece James made his Champions League bow last night as Chelsea picked up a 2-1 group stage victory over LOSC Lille.

James reverted to right wing-back for the Blues in France, as the versatile 19-year-old continues to try and force his way into the Chelsea side.

He lasted 67 minutes on his European debut - he was replaced just after the hour as Chelsea pushed for a winning goal - and it followed his stunning first-team debut last week.

The England Under-20s star scored a brilliant goal and had two assists in the 7-1 victory over Grimsby in the Carabao Cup.

And manager Frank Lampard says James’ stunning display was a continuation of the form he showed last season on loan with Latics.

His game will get much better,” said the Chelsea manager. “He has been out a long time, and he has only played minimal minutes in the Under-23s” he told The Express.

“But Reece’s performances last year at Wigan – when he was in the Championship Team of the Year – showed the talent he has got.

“And he is going to be a big player for this club.

“He has got a great player and person to look up to in Cesar Azpilicueta, who is in his position.

“He showed his real quality on the ball, and that is just the start for Reece.”

James made the bench for the first time in the Premier League at the weekend, although he didn’t get on in the 2-0 win over Brighton.