'I tried to get Wigan Athletic star to join Everton'!

Callum McManaman with Reece James during the 2018-19 campaignCallum McManaman with Reece James during the 2018-19 campaign
Callum McManaman with Reece James during the 2018-19 campaign
Callum McManaman has revealed he tried to get Reece James to join Everton during his loan spell with Wigan Athletic!

James instead returned to Chelsea following an incredible season at the DW Stadium, when he swept the board at the Player of the Year awards.

The success didn't end there, with James winning the Champions League with Chelsea last season, he before being part of the England squad that went all the way to the final of the Euros

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And McManaman is not surprised at his ensuing success - having tried in vain to steer him towards his boyhood favourites!

“As soon as he came in, you just knew he was just a superstar – we all did,” said the 30-year-old, who recently joined Tranmere after a year in Australia with Melbourne Victory.

“It was that obvious how good he was – and it was even more his attitude that made him stand out.

"I’ve never seen a young lad so confident in his own ability – without being arrogant – and yet so down to earth to speak to.

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“He just had a way about him, he knew he was the best player here and he was only a kid coming straight from Chelsea’s reserves, coming into a team full of proven Championship players, who’ve had good careers.

“I actually tried to get him to go to Everton, because I knew what a player he would go on to be!

"But he was adamant he was going back to Chelsea to play in the first team.

“We were all like ‘Well the captain’s the right-back, it’s going to be tough’. But he knew he was going back to play, and now he’s taken his place!

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“Everyone’s now like a proud dad watching him play now – us, the fans, everyone. When he won the European Cup, everyone was just buzzing for him.

“He’s always messaging the other lads when they’ve done something well, and that just shows the class about him.”

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