Michael Owen thinks Chelsea’s Reece James is currently in the top five right-backs in the world.
James, 22, currently belongs right at the top of the list when you look at Chelsea’s best performing players.
Therefore, it’s no surprise to hear him mentioned among the very best full-backs in the sport.
The England international, who is comfortable as a right-back or right wing-back, has a lovely balance to his game when it comes to both attacking and defending.
Also, he rates him just as highly in terms of the world’s right-backs.
Owen told BT Sport: “I was looking through the [England] squad the other day and thinking if you’re putting our players into categories, are they one of the best five players in that position in the world? I got to Kane and I got to Reece James, and then I was struggling.
“Trent [Alexander-Arnold] is up against, in my opinion, one of the best right-backs, one of the best wing-backs in the world. It’s a position that is very strong in this country.”
Chelseas Reece James Signs Contract Extension
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
Chelsea fans will be accused of bias when raving about the quality that James possesses, but you only need to listen to the opinion of past and current players to get an understanding.
For example, Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson recently said the Chelsea star “unbelievable”. In addition, Owen Hargreaves called him a “machine” last month.
It must be great for the Blues youngster to be surrounded by such high compliments, but the next stage of his career has to be to keep his feet grounded.
He’s got all the attributes in his game to firmly establish himself as one of the world’s elite defenders. However, consistency and staying humble will be key tools.
Fortunately, James is surrounded by enough senior teammates in the dressing room that you’d like to think they’ll keep him level-headed.
There’s definitely plenty more to his game that can improve and fine-tune, so let’s hope he keeps progressing into an even more complete player.