Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia believes Reece James can become a “major player” for the Blues and has the “perfect opportunity” to do so after he signed a new deal.
The 20-year-old put pen to paper on a new contract that will see him remain in west London until 2025.
James has, like many of Chelsea’s current crop of youngsters, broken into the first XI this term which was helped thanks to a hugely successful loan spell with Wigan last term.
And Granovskaia sees James as the perfect example of how a successful academy and loan system can produce first team stars.
She said: “The smooth way Reece has fitted into the team so quickly despite missing the start of the season has been clear for everyone to see.
“The fact another exciting young player is part of the future of the club is a result of great work by our Academy, our loans department, our new coaching staff and of course the player himself.
“Reece started his football education with us at the age of six and his performances on loan at Wigan last season paved the way for a strong beginning to his career in the Chelsea team.
Reece James has enjoyed a breakthrough year with Chelsea
“We are very pleased he now has the perfect opportunity to build on that and become a major player for us for many years to come.”
James joined Chelsea 14 years ago and has risen up the ranks alongside the likes of Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
He is attempting to make the right-back spot his own and maintains it is a “dream” to be playing for the west London side.
“It has been my dream to be here at Chelsea and play week in week out,” said James. “To have a contract for another five-and-a-half years is living the dream again.
“I have always wanted to be here and another five-and-a-half years means a lot to me and a lot to my family.”