Frank Lampard hailed Reece James after Chelsea’s incredible Champions League comeback against Ajax.
The young right-back, on as a substitute, scored the Blues’ equaliser in a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge, where they had trailed 4-1.
Boss Lampard made a crucial change at half-time, sending James on in place of the dismal Marcos Alonso and moving Cesar Azpilicueta across to left-back.
And James responded by further enhancing his growing reputation with another impressive showing.
“Reece is a fantastic young player,” said Lampard.
“He gives what you saw and I think he’ll get much better because he’s 19 and that’s just normal.
“I felt we needed to change to get a bit more for us on the right-hand side, get Azpi on the left-hand side, and Reece can deliver with great quality.
“He knows we’ve got Azpi there as our captain who plays at right-back, but there are things that we can do to change things sometimes and Reece knows that.
“He’s a great player and he’s going to be a top player for the club. When you look at the modern full-back and things that are required – to join in and be a threat going forward – hopefully Reece can do that for us.”
On a less positive note for Chelsea, Mason Mount went off with an ankle injury during the second half.
Lampard said Mount’s ankle, which was heavily strapped, will be assessed on Wednesday.
“He’s strapped his ankle and we hope it’s relatively minor, but that’s one for the morning,” Lampard explained.