Chelsea announced at their end-of-season awards ceremony on Thursday night that Reece James had picked up the award for Academy Player of the Year for the 2017/18 campaign, and Blues fans were quick to react.
The 18-year-old, who captained his side to FA Youth Cup victory, has played at both centre-back and right-back – as well as wing-back – for the west London outfit’s U18 and U23 teams this season, and he has impressed with his strength, mentality and leadership skills.
The teenager may well be hoping that he can start to push for a spot in the first team next term rather than being loaned out like many other youngsters have previously, and his versatility and quality may well help him in that quest.
Chelsea supporters, who want two of their main attackers sold after Wednesday’s draw with Huddersfield Town, took to social media to give their thoughts on the award for James, and while one said he’s “better than Zappacosta hands down”, another said “he is everything our team lacks”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
Totally deserved. Absolute stud. Can play CB or RB and has a tremendous attitude. Bright future.
— Alex Goldberg (@AlexGoldberg_) May 10, 2018
if you haven't watch him play he is everything our team lacks quality heart character spine leader
— Viraj Mandhare (@VirajMandhare) May 10, 2018
Better than Zappacosta hands down
— Allie Allahn (@allie39049016) May 10, 2018
Congratulations Reece !!! Hope to see you get some 1st team opportunities sometime soon !!!
— Norm Rumack (@NormanRumack) May 10, 2018
He's a monster
— Cristian (@juvenilegolden) May 10, 2018
A better player than Zappacosta
— Chelsea Central (@CfcScrutiny) May 10, 2018
Bring him to the first team
— Never Give Up Blues (@dash_gadel) May 10, 2018
Debut next season ✅
— Dino (@dinohodzic17) May 10, 2018
Can you be first team player next season boy
— Victor Diego (@victor32386475) May 10, 2018
Let him graduate to the senior side
— Sanele chiliza (@Sanelechiliza3) May 10, 2018
Wanna see him get a first team contract for next season
— black womxn you are on your own (@Soco_Lu1) May 11, 2018