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Lampard heaps praise on ‘fantastic’ Chelsea youngster Reece James

Chelsea consolidated their place in the top four with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge yesterday and Blues boss Frank Lampard was particularly impressed the performance of 19-year-old defender Reece James.

England youth international James impressed after coming off the bench against Ajax in the Champions League midweek, and was handed his first-ever Premier League start against the Eagles.

Not only did he show plenty of ability when going forward, but James also managed to keep the dangerous Wilfried Zaha under wraps, and speaking after the game, Chelsea boss Lampard made it clear that he has every faith in the talented youngster.

“Reece was fantastic against one of the best wingers in the league one v one, Zaha is a real threat, especially on the counter-attack. Reece dealt with most of those situations and he also joined in on the attack,” Lampard told

“You can see how comfortable he is with the ball at his feet and his delivery and passing. I was pleased and I trust in Reece.

“Out of all the younger players who have been getting their chance this year, he’s had his injury earlier in the season and has got fit that little bit later, but he’s been training at a level and coming on at a level where he deserved minutes today. So he did brilliantly.”

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