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Frank Lampard tells Jamie Redknapp that Chelsea starlet Reece James will rival Liverpool ace Trent Alexander-Arnold

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Frank Lampard has heaped praise on Chelsea defender Reece James (Picture: Getty)

Frank Lampard says Reece James is going to be a ‘huge player’ for Chelsea and rival Liverpool’s star defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.

James, 20, is enjoying a breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge, having flourished on loan at Championship side Wigan Athletic last term.

The defender has made 20 appearances for the Blues in all competitions and earned rave reviews from the likes of Arsenal legend Paul Merson and former Chelsea man Frank Sinclair.

Lampard has revealed he tried to sign James on loan when he was at Derby County and says the youngster has the potential to develop into a ‘huge player’ for Chelsea.

In an interview with his cousin, the former England international Jamie Redknapp, Lampard said of James: ‘I tried to get him on loan at Derby last January.

‘His delivery is too good, and when I say “too good”, I’m joking but I mean that we need to read what he’s doing. We need to get bodies in the box because that’s a huge asset.

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‘He’s a great kid who’s going to be a huge player for Chelsea. Without getting too far ahead, even though Trent [Alexander-Arnold] is that good he’ll be challenging him.’

James will be a ‘huge player’ for Chelsea, according to Lampard (Picture: Getty)

Alexander-Arnold is widely considered the best right back in world football and looks set to add a Premier League winners’ medal to his Champions League medal this season, with Liverpool currently 22 points clear of reigning champions Manchester City.

James has been one of a number of youngsters to flourish at Stamford Bridge this season, with Chelsea failing to bolster Lampard’s squad in either of the last two transfer windows.

‘Would Mason have gone on loan again this year? Possibly. Probably. Tomori definitely would,’ Lampard said when asked about his young Chelsea team.

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‘It was my decision to keep Tomori because I’d worked with him at Derby and loved his attitude.

‘I don’t have to play Tammy – he has to show me why, of our three strikers, he deserves it. The ban forced my hand slightly but I knew the fans wanted to see young players.

‘I knew how much the academy put into these players. I’m not even talking about Mohamed Salah or Kevin De Bruyne – you mention them and you get an absolute headline.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is widely considered the best right back in world football (Picture: Getty)

‘But there have been other academy players over the last 10 years who might have come through quicker.

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‘The sweat, the tears, the hours that go into those prospects. Neil Bath and Jim Fraser, who have run the academy for years, put so much into it.

‘The day we beat Wolves 5-2, Tomori got the first, Tammy scores three, then Mason scores. You want to ring them up and go, “Can we have a few pints tonight, lads?”‘

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