James confirms Three Lions' target
Teenage full-back Reece James is aiming to follow Chelsea team-mate Callum Hudson-Odoi into the England senior team in the future.
The 19-year-old is currently impressing on a season-long loan spell with Championship strugglers Wigan, where he has featured in every game and made it into the Championship team of the season.
James has already featured for England at every level up to Under-20, but the Blues 2017-18 academy player of the season is now setting his sights on being involved in Gareth Southgate's squad in the near future.
He is focused on helping Wigan remain in the Championship this season and then going back to Chelsea with a view to pushing for a place in the first team at Stamford Bridge and then emulating Hudson-Odoi's progression into the Three Lions reckoning.
He told the Wigan Observer: "It's a dream to go on and achieve that. Who wouldn't want to go on and play for your country?
"Also going back to Chelsea, it's where I've been and where I want to play. But I have enjoyed this experience, being on loan."
On Hudson-Odoi's elevation into the England squad this year, James added: "I've played with Callum for many years, coming through at Chelsea – Under-10s, 12s – and he's a brilliant player. It would be great to follow what he's done.
"But what has happened for someone else doesn't mean it's going to happen to you.
"You have to take it step by step and hopefully I get the chance. But of course what he's done gives you hope."
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.