Reece James bags award

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Reece James had a successful one-year loan spell at Wigan Athletic last season and at the end of the season, the Chelsea loanee won Wigan Athletic’s Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season.

James was also named in the Football Manager Championship Team of the Season and won the Player of the Month award on four occasions at his loan club.

James impressed to such an extent last season that he still receives accolades for that spell and has now been named 2018/19 North West Football Awards Championship Player of the Year.

The 19-year-old won the award as he was selected by fans in an open vote.

James isn’t resting on his laurels as he’s starting to impress for Chelsea under Frank Lampard. The Chelsea academy product came on as a substitute in the 4-4 draw against Watford, and his performance was so impressive that Lampard decided to give him his first Premier League start against Crystal Palace, and the youngster was excellent as well.

James was so good that he dominated Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and provided a regular attacking outlet in the game.

Asked if he was delighted with the performance of James against Zaha, Lampard said: “Yes, I thought Reece was fantastic against one of the best wingers in the league one-v-one. A real threat and on the counter-attack. Reece dealt with most of those situations and he also joined in the attack.

“You can see how comfortable he is with the ball at his feet and his delivery and passing so I was pleased.

“I trust in Reece and out of all of the younger players who have been getting his chance this year, he has had his injury earlier in the season.

“He has got fit that little bit later but he has been training at a level and coming on at a level where he deserves his minutes today. He did brilliantly.”

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