Lauren James is now regarded as one of the best young talents in English women’s football, and she is expected to play a major role at the upcoming Women’s World Cup.
The Chelsea star has scored four times in 12 Women’s Super League matches this season, gliding past defenders before finding the back of the net.
James has also broken into a talented Lionesses squad, making 10 appearances for England so far. She scored her first goal in a 4-0 victory against South Korea at this year’s Arnold Clark Cup.
Described as a “cheat code” by England captain Leah Williamson, the 21-year-old James has the potential to become one of the best players in the world.
While a number of hardcore football fans have backed James to make it at the top level of the sport for some time now, very few can say they identified her as a special talent more than five years ago.
But Fara Williams, the most capped England player of all time, can claim exactly this.
On an episode of the Boots, Balls & Bras podcast, Williams and fellow Lionesses legend Jill Scott remembered their first sighting of James.
Fara Williams and Jill Scott discuss watching Lauren James at under-16 level
Scott started the conversation by praising James, saying: “The fact though, when she picks the ball up, I’d usually be like ‘pass the ball, pass the ball’. But when it gets to her, I’m like ‘run past everyone’.
“Fara, I remember you dragging me at St George’s Park, to an under-16s game or something, and you were like, ‘Jill, we’re going to go watch the young ones.’
“We were stood there and it was freezing, and you were like ‘just watch this player.’ You knew.”
Williams then chimed in, saying: “Remember when I said to you, if she doesn’t make it as an established senior player, the youth coaches have failed her.”
Scott then responded: “With her, I’ve never seen you be so excited about a player, but I get it now.”
Lauren James set to feature at first Women’s World Cup
James, whose brother Reece also plays for England, featured in the Lionesses’ two friendly matches during the most recent international break.
She impressed during a penalty shoot-out victory against Brazil, but struggled to make as much of an impact during a 2-0 loss to Australia.
Regardless, it would be a big surprise if James was not included in the squad for the Women’s World Cup, despite not being selected for Euro 2022.
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