Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has explained the reasons behind his decision to play 19-year-old defender Reece James instead of club captain Ceaser Azpilicueta.
Chelsea secured a comfortable 2-0 win against Crystal Palace in an early kickoff game at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Second half goals from Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic secured the big win but Reece James performance in his first Premier League start didn’t go un noticed.
As his manager, Frank Lampard praised the academy graduate and explained why he chose the youngster instead of the club captain.
‘I am proud and I believe in them and with Reece as well,’ Lampard told BT Sport.
‘Azpi is our captain I spoke to him before the game, he’s a great leader for the club and so important.
‘I just felt we could get Reece some minutes and he’s deserved them with the way he’s trained and played.
‘With Zaha I thought what better test? Every team has players that can hurt you on the counter attack and he’s one of the best.
‘I thought could we hurt them the other way and make him run back more than forwards.
‘I’ve got trust in Reece defensively. It was a really impressive game from him and he’ll get much better.’