Reece James has been one of the biggest revelations of Chelsea’s Loan Army this season. But his time at Wigan Athletic is now up — he’s return to train at Chelsea for the rest of this season alongside a number of other loanees — so now the question is, what’s next?
The obvious thing would be to integrate him into the first-team. And while Chelsea are not exactly the paragon of youth integration, the recent successes of Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Callum Hudson-Odoi might just be enough to signal that the winds of change are upon us.
“Reece has already received enough plaudits – and will go on to get many more – to last any young lad a lifetime. All I can say is Reece would breeze into any team of the year, he’s an absolutely outstanding player.”
“And in my eyes he has probably been the best player I’ve seen in the Championship this year. But of course I would be slightest biased in that assessment.”
-Paul Cook, Wigan manager;
source: Wigan Today
They want him on a transfer, mind you, which does come off as quite ambitious — and may also be why there was no price or valuation of any sorts mentioned in the report. The fact that Brighton’s head of recruitment Paul Winstanley worked as a performance analyst for Wigan Athletic can also be a factor, albeit a minor one, with the major constituent of this interest undoubtedly being Reece’s footballing abilities.
This continues to do the rounds and has done for months. Brighton's Head of Recruitment used to work for Wigan and is (apparently) still based in the area. Brighton have ex-Wigan players in Gaetan Bong and Dan Burn, and have also been linked with Nick Powell. https://t.co/PzPLNtOm1w— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) May 7, 2019
The course of action at this point is really uncomplicated — bring Reece back and let him occupy the spot that is set to be vacated by a likely departing Davide Zappacosta, who has been linked with a move back to Serie A after his disastrous Chelsea career.
Nonetheless, the interest in Reece should be taken as positive news, as this means that the boy is doing something right; or multiple things over multiple positions right. With a contract that runs on till 2022, Chelsea have absolutely zero reasons to sell, and both Brighton and Manchester United would be aware of this as well.
So, sit back, put on Permanent by Spag Heddy and enjoy the Reece James show.