Chelsea Women are reportedly in talks to sign Man United forward Lauren James. According to The Athletic, the 19-year-old is set for a move to the Blues, though United are keen to hold on to the young star.
James’ brother Reece is already a Chelsea player, having been in the youth set-up since 2006 –– adding further weight to the claim that the teenager could be on her way to West London.
Fans had thought James may already have signed after Chelsea accidentally added her name to the kit list on their website and offered people the opportunity to buy a shirt with her name printed on the back.
The club are yet to speak out on the mistake, but this does beg the question as to whether the English forward would be a good fit for Emma Hayes’ side?
While there’s no denying that James has the potential to be world-class, Chelsea already have a plethora of incredible attacking options.
Fran Kirby has been tipped to win this year’s Women’s Super League Player of the Year, having registered 16 goals and 11 assists across the season. Sam Kerr has proved her early critics wrong, winning the WSL Golden Boot and Pernille Harder has more than justified her record price tag following her arrival from Wolfsburg.
Such is the quality of the Blues’ starting front three, that last year’s WSL Player of the Season Beth England has been forced to warm the bench for much of this campaign.
Despite Chelsea’s undeniable quality up front, if the money is there to buy James then is there any reason to say no? Her impact for United has been tremendous –– scoring the first goal for the Red Devils in the Championship, FA Cup, the WSL and at Old Trafford.
When analysing the transfer from this perspective, taking such a crucial player away from one of their arch-rivals is only going to benefit Chelsea in the long run.
There must also be some trust in Hayes’ judgement. Former Blues player Karen Carney described her former boss as the “best at recruiting talent” and this has shone through in recent times. The signing of Niamh Charles was heavily questioned initially, but Hayes had always intended to play the 21-year-old as a right-back –– where she is now flourishing. Ultimately, if Hayes wants James, there is no doubt she’ll already have plans for her.
Do Chelsea need James then? In truth, no. But, then again, they don’t really need anyone. Would she add more quality to an already star-studded team? Absolutely. So, in this way, it does seem a no brainer.