Reece James revealed that fellow Chelsea teammate and defender Thiago Silva has played a crucial role in his career, claiming the Brazilian took him “under his wing” in the last couple of months.
The 36-year-old arrived Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Ligue 1 giants PSG in August and has since cemented his place in the first team.
Aside from his imposing presence in the backline which has helped the club amass a good number clean sheets, Silva has also dished out valuable tips to James about how to step-up his game, with the youngster obviously showing appreciation to the man who has achieved so much in his career.
“I think, this season, Thiago Silva has probably influenced my career the most so far, just because he is well experienced and played at the very top of the game for the last 15 years,” James told BBC Sports.
“He has taken me under his wing, coached me and told me where I need to do better and where I am doing well.”
However, the 21-year-old, has so far seen his place come under threat since the club appointed a new manager – Thomas Tuchel – to replace Frank Lampard.
James has contributed one goal and five assists to the Blues’s cause in 21 outings across all competitions this season.
James and Silva will both be back in contention for a spot in Tuchel’s line up when Chelsea travel to St Mary’s to take on Southampton on Saturday.
A win against the Saints will see them stay in the top four before turning their attention to a Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid three days later.