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Reece James replacing Marcos Alonso at halftime was crucial to Chelsea’s remarkable comeback against Ajax on Tuesday night.
Alonso had a nightmare 45 minutes before his withdrawal at halftime while his replacement, James helped Chelsea secure a famous Champions League comeback.
James scored the equaliser against Ajax and in doing so, he became Chelsea’s youngest goalscorer in the Champions League at 19 years and 332 days -beating Arjen Robben’s previous record of 20 years and 284 days.
James will be proud of his performance against Ajax. His numbers against Ajax were impressive – one goal, three shots, 95% pass completion rate and seven crosses.
Chelsea legend Joe Cole compared the crossing ability of James to England legend David Beckham.
“When I was playing in America, I came around to train with the kids,” Cole said on BT Sport. “We were having a shooting session and the kids’ shooting was erratic, but James was on the money, on the money, whipping crosses, it was like watching Beckham.”
The athleticism of James allows the teenager to bomb forward and recover quickly, a very important trait for a modern fullback.
Following his impressive performance against Ajax, should James be in Chelsea’s starting XI.