Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed his high hopes in Reece James as he believes that the youngster will be the next Chelsea academy graduate that will make a difference in the squad.
According to Evening Standard reports, Davide Zappacosta was released from the club due to the fact that manager Frank Lampard is in contention to promote James.
The 19-year-old who endured an injury blow in which he tore the ligaments in his ankles is currently in the process of recovery to make his comeback to team selection.
Despite the interest James garnered from various clubs, Lampard opted to keep him, Andreas Christensen, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham this season as he believes they have the qualities to make an impact on the squad.
Azpilicueta said: “I am here to help everybody and he is an amazing kid. He has a very good mentality.
"No one has any doubts about his talent on the pitch and hopefully he can be a very important player.
“When he (first) came (to train with the senior side) he was already used to the way we play. After he arrived, I was playing as a centre-back so he was training on the right next to me.
“It was easy for me to get close to him and help him with the movements and to get used to the way we play. The movements that the manager asks us to play.”
Chelsea have previously come under scrutiny for not using young players at their disposal when they have built up one of the most successful academies in England.
When asked if England stand to benefit from the west London club’s work, he replied: “Yes sure. When you go to U17s, U19s, U20s, even U21s.... you see that we have English players from here represented there.
“When they won the Under-20 World Cup (in 2017), they had a few players from Chelsea. We have been doing very good work in the academy.
"We have players from everywhere and we have a strong base of English players, which is important.
“We have a lot of talents in Chelsea. I know that everyone is excited about the young players and the English players. I think Chelsea has been the most successful academy team.
“We are doing a very, very good job with the kids and now I think even more kids are getting promoted to the first team and that's what we maybe lacked a few years ago.”
Read more: Chelsea injury news: Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Rudiger ahead of Carrow Road