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Rio Ferdinand salutes ‘phenomenal’ Chelsea star and praises Chelsea’s youth set-up

Rio Ferdinand has lauded the “phenomenal” Reece James and has claimed that Chelsea strong form this season is thanks largely to the success of their youth system.

Rio Ferdinand praises Reece James and the way Chelsea have been developing their young talents in recent years.

Chelsea have made a brilliant start to the new campaign under Thomas Tuchel this term after having lifted the Champions League trophy and finishing fourth last season.

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The Blues currently lead the way at the top of the Premier League table and they have also already booked their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League thanks to their 4-0 win over Juventus on Tuesday night.

Full-back James has been in excellent form for Chelsea this term, with the 21-year-old having scored five goals and made five assists in all competitions, and he netted the second goal in the sparkling display against Juve at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

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Also on the score-sheet were Chelsea academy graduates Trevoh Chalobah and Callum Hudson-Odoi, with Timo Werner tapping home a fourth goal late on for the Blues.

Rio Ferdinand has been highly impressed by what he has seen from Reece James this season and he feels that Chelsea are now being rewarded for the way they have set up their youth system.

Ferdinand said on BT Sport on Tuesday night: "For years Chelsea have invested in youth but didn’t have the managers who are as confident as Frank [Lampard] and Thomas [Tuchel] now. The odd one might have come in but never stayed around. Reece James has been phenomenal. What this does for Cobham is the Under 8s, Under 9s and later academy kids are seeing a pathway.
Chelsea celebrate their victory against Juventus (Picture: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
"The first three scorers tonight against Juventus, no mugs, are graduates from the Cobham conveyor belt. They’ve persevered and they have worked it out. They are in a positive mindset with it, their youth system looks so clear for them. They can see a pathway to the first team.”

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