Brighton full-back Tariq Lamptey has paid tribute to the influence Reece James has had on his career as both have gone on to become successful Chelsea academy graduates.
The 21-year-old made three senior appearances for the Blues prior to his £5million switch to the Seagulls in January 2020. Meanwhile, James has risen to stardom at Stamford Bridge and the England international has now become one of the first names on Thomas Tuchel’s team sheet.
Lamptey has also caught the eye at Brighton, becoming a much-adored player on the terraces after forcing his way into the first team, maybe making Chelsea count the cost of their transfer decision. He enjoyed a breakthrough 2020/21 campaign until a hamstring injury in March ended his season early.
The England Under-21 star made his return in October and started Brighton’s past three Premier League matches before dropping down to the bench against West Ham last night.
He credited James for guiding him during his Chelsea academy days, having heeded the advice that has ultimately helped him become an established top-flight player.
“When I was at Chelsea, Reece James was in the age group older than me,” Lamptey told talkSPORT. “He was always giving me good advice. I’m happy to see him doing well, and hopefully that continues.
“There was a good academy at Chelsea and they give you the tools you need to try and develop your game.
“It just so happens that they have a lot of players in that position but they’ve got boys all around that can take it to the next level.”
Lamptey explained why he took the chance to move to Brighton, but praised the way Chelsea nurtured him through his younger years.
He said: “I was privileged to be in a good place where they allowed me to develop and I’m grateful to them. But I feel it was time to try and get regular game time and just try and take my game to the next level and keep developing.”
Lamptey has made 26 appearances for Brighton since his move and grabbed his first senior goal in a 2-1 loss to Tottenham in November 2020.
Source by Football London