Wigan Athletic old-boy handed 'Beckham' comparison!

Reece James celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Ajax in the Champions League
Reece James celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Ajax in the Champions League

Former Wigan Athletic star Reece James has been likened to David Beckham, in terms of his delivery, after his latest step on the road to stardom.

The 19-year-old, who enjoyed a spectacular season on loan with Latics last term, became Chelsea’s youngest ever scorer in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

James’ late strike – after coming on as a half-time substitute – helped rescue a 4-4 for Chelsea, who had trailed 4-1 at one stage.

And ex-Chelsea and England star Joe Cole, on punditry duty with BT Sport, didn’t hold back with the plaudits after the game.

”When I was playing in America, I came around to train with the kids,” Cole revealed.

“We were having shooting session and the kids’ shooting was erratic.

“But James was on the money, on the money, whipping crosses, it was like watching Beckham.”

James himself admitted to feeling pangs of disappointment at Chelsea not completing the perfect comeback, with Ajax – reduced to nine men after two sendings-off – hanging on at the end.

“It was a crazy game, being 3-1 down at half-time and then bringing it back to 4-4,” he said.

“‘There’s a little bit of disappointment because we had a few chances where we could have scored to win the game.

“But from where we were at half-time, it was a great end to the game.

“They were hard to break down and we scored quite a few once they went down to nine men.

“‘It was just a shame we didn’t win it.

“You can look at it from both points of view – we could have had all three points but we’re happy to at least get one and take a draw.

“There are questions we can ask ourselves but once you’re in that position [4-1 down], you just need to give everything to get out of it.”

James also revealed the words he was sent on to the field with from boss Frank Lampard.

“He didn’t say too much, just to go on, get in the game and liven the boys up,” he added.

“I was happy to come on and make an impact but scoring a goal was a bonus.

“It’s always a great feeling scoring at Stamford Bridge and for such a great club.”

Lampard, meanwhile, reckons Chelsea’s young side can “go places” this season.

“We need to tighten up, for sure, but with that spirit we can go places,” said.

“You need characters, you need personalities. It would be easy to turn it in at 3-1, or 4-1, but we didn’t.

“I think this group was always going to be tight, and we are in it.

“We’ve got two games left, very tough matches, and we have a lot of work to do.”