‘Form’ is a sensitive subject for professional football players. It can fluctuate like wind changes, rapid coming and going.
An ambitious newcomer needs to carry form for a season or more, more than a fleeting moment, to break into the international scene. Enough to attract attention, but also conveys a hint of staying power.
For some people, especially younger and less experienced candidates, change is difficult and takes time. For others (infinitely few in number) it is pointless.
Chelsea’s Lauren James falls into the latter category, forced to force her way into the picture despite England’s abundant wealth and status as defending European champions – a chapter which James watched from the stands.
A player whose potential has been highlighted this term, James has a stellar pedigree. Only a brief glimpse reveals how effortlessly she glides across the pitch, as if it was nothing more than a fun playground.
The sister of Chelsea Male star Reece James, her natural ability is astonishing. The ball is her constant companion as she darts between opposition defenders, using both feet to draw players towards her like moths to a flame. Fans who regularly visit Chelsea’s home of Kingsmeadow will recognize this routine.
Should England need it, James has the potential to become Sarina Wigman’s secret weapon at this summer’s World Cup. The 21-year-old has been burgeoning on the WSL scene since making her debut as a teenager, but 2022-23 marks her arrival. The year the call came to England.
James’ impact in the last 10 months has been widely appreciated. His form has caught everyone’s attention both domestically and internationally and the list of admirers is long.
“I think he’s a cheat code,” England captain Leah Williamson said of the young forward while competing in the Arnold Clark Cup in February. “The girl is incredible.”
“She’s a big, big talent,” commented Lioness boss Wigman at the time.
February 16 is the exact date James scored his first goal for England. Two clever touches inside the South Korean box, shifted the weight from left to right, and the ball went into the back of the net.
The attack was a showcase of James’ talent, but more than that, it revealed an eagerness to grace the big stage.
Such restraint and finality would work well in Wigman’s favor in Australia.
James also has a sense of unpredictability – few international coaches will be all too familiar with his work. He is deceptive and difficult to identify. A master of Houdini-style moves, able to pop up in various situations without any real trace of how she got there.
Free to roam, it can have devastating effects in place, serve as an outlet, or become the focal point of a quick counterattack. A winger’s running power with the touch and vision of a cultured playmaker.
Wigman’s assessment: “Lauren is very powerful, agile on the ball and has pace.” Indeed, James’ development is a manifestation of how England are progressing in Wigman’s mould. incremental profit.
James himself credits the Dutchwoman for his recent progress. The forward said, “He’s given me time and he’s allowed me to be myself.” “I believe that this is how you can get the best out of people by setting them free.”
It is important to note that England will not be short of forward options this summer despite Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner Beth Mead being injured, and while James’ campaign has been impressive, he has not earned the automatic queue jump.
For Wigman, there are strict checks and balances, a series of tests that have to pass before the starting shirt can be trusted. Still, James’ presence will spark healthy rivalry for the likes of Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, and even Ella Toon. Or a trump card if necessary.
This young, hungry squad should be receptive to a fresh face or two.
Running forward with speed and accuracy gives James an irresistible edge. This is what sets him apart. The final product probably needs refinement, but the 21-year-old, who will be entering his first major tournament, is a genuine powerhouse – one of England’s best motivators.
And don’t be afraid to dream. “I want to feel the way he felt last summer,” she said. sky game recently.
Every major competition involves a rising star. In 2022, we were all hit with Alessia Russo-mania. Up to you, Lauren.