Gary Neville pointed to England’s welcome enigma at right-back after Reece James and Tariq Lamptey received plenty of applause on Monday night.
A new Chelsea side have managed to defeat Brighton 3-1 in their first Premier League clash of the new season, with James crashing at home in an unstoppable effort from afar on the south coast.
Lamptey also impressed the same flank for the hosts, leaving Neville to jokingly insist that a jibe by his colleague Jamie Carragher triggered a “phenomenon” in that position.
Gary Neville praised England right-back’s dilemma after Reece James stunned Brighton
Tariq Lamptey, another young England full-back, also impressed for the hosts against Chelsea
“The performance levels and the demands placed on the modern full-side rear are absolutely incredible,” said Neville. “Not just to defend, but to provide assists, to deliver goals, winning moments.
“You think of the options England now have at the back. Reece James, Lamptey, you have Kyle Walker, (Kieran) Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the best players in the world.
‘He (Carragher) once said that no one wanted to become a Gary Neville! There are many, it has triggered a phenomenon!
Neville joked that Jamie Carragher’s jibe sparked ‘phenomenon’ for England right-back
As well as scoring his crush, James also collected an assist for Kurt Zouma’s deflected effort and proved to be a nuisance at both ends of the pitch.
He made 37 appearances in all competitions last season, highlighting his first-team breakthrough under Frank Lampard, and was again preferred ahead of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta against Brighton.
Lampard admitted that the starlet’s piledriver had made him ‘leave his seat’.
He said: “We needed it, we weren’t at our best during that time. Reece has that in him, he’s such a quality player. You try to get him to areas where he can be a threat.
James had a superb breakthrough last season and topped off the new one in style
James’ other number, meanwhile, ended the last campaign in good form and recently won his first call in England U21.
The 19-year-old had drawn attention in Brighton’s last eight games after joining Chelsea in January.
Lamptey has represented his nation from U18 to U20 before and, alongside James, will have the ambition to enter the senior world in the future.
Share or comment on this article: