Frank Lampard had the chance to react to Reece James committing his future to Chelsea until at least the summer of 2025 when the boss spoke to the media at Cobham on Friday afternoon.
The evening before, the 20-year-old right-back put pen to paper on a new five-and-a-half-year contract, just four months after Lampard had handed him his Chelsea debut. James has played another 17 games since then and has recently been the first choice in his position.
‘I rate him very highly,’ praised Lampard. ‘I knew him as a youth player in the Academy here. I saw him on loan last year when he did fantastically well at Wigan. I tried to get him to Derby [on loan] but he could not come in the mid-season, but I admired him a lot. Then to work with him I feel the same and even more so.
‘He has got his foot into the first team here and I think there is a lot more to come from Reece James,’ added the head coach.
‘He is a really talented player and he wants to learn, he wants to improve, he wants to train and do the right things and he has that talent. So it is great for the club that he has signed for so long.’
James himself, in an interview he gave to The 5th Stand app after signing his contract, spoke about returning to Chelsea in the summer with Lampard installed as the man in charge.
‘I think everyone was thinking that it couldn’t be much better,’ said the young player. ‘Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend and if everyone wanted someone to be manager they would pick him.
‘Working under him, he helps all of us and everyone looks up to him.’
Watch the whole video interview with Reece James now, exclusively on The 5th Stand app