Former England international Claire Rafferty believes Chelsea forward Lauren James could become a really special player in the coming years.
The 21-year-old has had an excellent season so far for the Blues, scoring seven goals in 20 appearances, but Rafferty claims she has the potential to be even better:
“She’s unpredictable and that’s why she’s so dangerous and I’d like to see that continue. Sometimes, you can almost train that out of someone, but you don’t want that from Lauren James. She’s fearless. That is quite scary to defend against.”
“I think she has potential to change games, so I think it’s about her consistency [now]. I know she’s been criticised a little bit for slight immaturity around [her] defensive roles. But she’s young and that will come.”
“I think the development of her whole game is what will happen under Emma Hayes and the coaching staff. For the future, I think it’s a scary prospect because she can change games, she can affect the defence, she can split passes, she can drive at players and she can finish. If she continues to progress, the world is her oyster.”
James won the WSL Young Player of the Year prize at the London Football Awards earlier this week, with her teammate Sam Kerr winning the senior accolade.
It remains to be seen whether she will fully realise her potential but the signs this campaign have been very promising indeed. Her ability on the ball makes her a problem for any defence in England, but it does need to be harnessed in the right way.
As Rafferty says, James is still young but Chelsea manager Emma Hayes is beginning to get the best out of her, and you do feel that it won’t be long before she becomes one of the best in the business.