Chelsea striker Lauren James, technically gifted and not afraid to face off against defenders, has the potential to be one of them Breakout Stars of the 2023 Women’s World Cup if she can reach her best form and make the right flank role previously held by the injured Beth Mead her own.
For that cross, however, she will face stiff competition from Chloe Kelly and has been plagued by accusations of inconsistency as her performances in the second half of last season’s Women’s Super League don’t seem to live up to the high standards she set herself in the first place, which earned her the Young Player of the Year award at the Women’s Football Awards.
James, 21, has a famous older brother in the form of full-back Reece James, who now plays for Chelsea’s men’s team but previously appeared regularly alongside them at youth level.
The couple grew up in Mortlake, with their father Nigel, a UEFA-licensed coach, playing a crucial role in developing their obvious talents.
Lauren James started out with the Epson Eagles and was signed by Chelsea in 2010. There she spent four years in the youth team before joining Arsenal where she quickly found her way into the first team in the 2017/18 season and made her debut on her 16th birthday.
This was followed by a move to the newly formed Manchester United women’s team, where she scored 22 goals in 40 appearances between 2018 and 2021, winning her first engagement for England. James then returned to Chelsea where she plays under Emma Hayes alongside fellow Lionesses Millie Bright , Jess Carter and Niamh Charles.