Chelsea Women are thrilled to announce that Lauren James has signed a new contract, keeping the forward at the club until the summer of 2027.

The 21-year-old was part of the Chelsea Academy from Under-10s to Under-14s level, possessing a unique talent that has seen her go from strength to strength. She has pace, technique and creativity in abundance and is establishing herself as one of the brightest young talents on the world stage.

After putting pen to paper on a new deal, the 21-year-old said: ‘It’s an amazing feeling to extend my stay at the club I love and where I feel most at home. I’m looking forward to the future and I want to reach my full potential.

‘I want to be the best version of me as a player and as a person, helping to inspire the next generation. It definitely feels like home and it’s always been the place I’ve wanted to be.’

General manager Paul Green commented: ‘We’re delighted that Lauren has signed an extended deal, she has built on last season and taken another step forward in her development.

‘She is one of the best young players in the world, who is blue through and through. We look forward to seeing her continue to progress and we believe she will go on to achieve big things at the club.’

Having been on our books at youth level, James made her debut for Arsenal aged 16 in October 2017. However, she would go on to sign her first professional contract with Manchester United just under a year later.

James was quick to showcase her potential and proved she possessed that clinical edge with 14 goals in 18 league appearances for the Reds, helping them win promotion to the top flight of women’s football.

She wrote her name into the history books after netting United’s first-ever goal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, ending the 2019/20 campaign as their top scorer with six goals in 12 appearances, resulting in a nomination for the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year award.

In July 2021, James re-joined Chelsea and signed a four-year contract with the Blues. In her debut season, she made 12 appearances and got herself on the scoresheet in the 9-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on our way to a league and FA Cup double.

Further individual recognition followed during the 2021/22 campaign when James was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award, a testament to the progress she was making and her development has continued since.

During the 2022/23 campaign, James was influential in helping us to clinch a second consecutive WSL and FA Cup double, while we reached the League Cup final and the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals along the way.

On the international stage, James has represented England at Under-17 and Under-19 level. She received her first senior call-up as part of a training camp in November 2020 and starred at the Arnold Clark Cup in February this year, where she collected the Player of the Tournament award.

Everyone at Chelsea wishes to congratulate Lauren on her new contract, and on her selection in the Lionesses World Cup squad for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand this summer.