The Football Manc Cave

Focusing on the football news in Greater Manchester

Crystal Palace could be getting a real gem from former Wigan Athletic loanee

Crystal Palace is linked with a move for Chelsea star Reece James, as they look to find a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who signed for Manchester United in a deal worth £50 million.

Today at The Football Manc Cave, Dan is going to look at what James would offer Palace.

I was lucky enough to watch James all of last season, being a Wigan Athletic fan. He’s the best player I’ve ever seen at Latics. Consider the fact he joined as a teenager that had never played a competitive match, then left after winning Player of the Year, captaining the side and dominating most of the Championship’s midfield – he did pretty well.

Big props to Palace’s scouts, not a lot of people realise how good James is going to be. I’ve no doubt he’ll play for England within the next 2 years, first-team football is crucial though. I expect Frank Lampard to give him an opportunity to showcase himself at Chelsea, if he does, Palace won’t be signing him. James is already good enough for Chelsea, versatile and just an all-around top player.

What makes him so good?

For me, it’s his attitude off the pitch. He never once thought he was too good for us, you could tell he appreciated what Wigan was offering him, and he loved playing for us. James attended academy matches, talking to our youth players about how they could improve.

On the pitch, he was just a different level. Strength, pace, set-pieces, tackles, passing, he’s got the lot. A joy to watch. He could play anywhere on the pitch and do a job. I hope for his sake, he chooses whatever is best for him. All he needs is first-team football, and he’ll fly to the top in no time.

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