Chelsea agree deal for highly-rated defender James, will spend next season out on loan at Wigan

Chelsea confirm they have agreed a new deal for Reece James who will spend next season out on loan at Wigan Athletic. The highly-rated defender, who was Academy Player of the Year last season, has signed a contract extension with the Blues until 2022.

But as game time in the first-team will be hard to come by, he’ll ply his trade in the Championship next season – Wigan were promoted from League One in 2017/18.

James is a right-back, but he can play centre-back and on the wing. The 18-year-old has risen through the youth ranks to the fringes of the first-team, racking up 40 appearances for the u18s, eight for the u19s and 27 for the u23s.

He’s featured seven times for England’s u19s and clearly has a bright future ahead of himself. However, with Victor Moses, Davide Zappacosta and Cesar Azpilicueta standing in his way of first-team football at Chelsea, James is forced to develop elsewhere.

That’s not to stay Wigan won’t be a good move for the teenager. The Latics won the League One title last season with 98 points from 46 games, suffering just six defeats and conceding 29 goals. They already have a watertight defence, so James is joining the perfect club to learn his trade.

Stats from Transfermarkt.

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