Young defender Reece James has had the very definition of a “breakout season” out on loan at Wigan Athletic from parent club Chelsea and following apparent in him from Brighton and Crystal Palace, it seems as though Everton have now thrown their hat into the ring.
Widely tipped to be a star of the future, I’m personally struggling with the idea of Chelsea letting James leave Stamford Bridge at all but it’s no real surprise to see a selection of Premier League clubs openly looking to add him to their ranks.
Capable of playing in a variety of different positions and with an old head on young shoulders, the 19-year-old was comfortably the best performing player on Wigan’s books across the 2018/19 season, leaving me to wonder if he may be regularly involved in Maurizio Sarri’s first-team squads from August onwards.
The Blues, as everyone knows, are currently in the midst of an appeal over their transfer ban but should it be upheld, players of James’ calibre will be worth their weight in gold. Back in the Champions League next season and likely to be without star man Eden Hazard, Sarri will lean on youngsters like Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek even more, with Reece amongst the next back of academy stars who are set to be thrown into the mix.
The above report from The Post quotes an asking price of £15 million without giving any idea of where it’s come from and whilst I’m not privy to the conversations which take place in Chelsea board meetings, I can tell you that the Blues will likely be on the lookout for far more than that if they are to part with James this summer.
Predominantly a right-back, it’s difficult to see Wan-Bissaka losing his place to Reece; perhaps if a sale is agreed for Aaron it’s an avenue we’d look to explore but without that, I just can’t see how it would work on a financial or tactical basis.
If things go well for the teenager, we could be talking about him as an established Premier League star in 12 months time; to do that he’ll need game-time at Chelsea but with things set as they are, he’s got a fantastic opportunity to make his mark.