Lauren James is the England player “everyone has been waiting years for”, said Lucy Bronze after the Chelsea forward netted her first international goal on Thursday.
James, the sister of Chelsea and England men’s right-back Reece, scored the final goal in a 4-0 win against South Korea in the Arnold Clark Cup.
The 21-year-old, earning her sixth senior cap, had won the penalty Georgia Stanway netted for the opener.
James has had to bide her time for opportunities at both club and international level, having dealt with injury issues both before and after her move from Manchester United.
But she has shown this season why she is considered perhaps the most talented England player of her generation.
James has scored four goals and provided one assist in 10 Women’s Super League matches. She has thrilled fans with her exciting playing style, completing more dribbles (21) than any other player in the division.
Now, after making an impact for England, Bronze – previously The Best FIFA Women’s Player – is looking forward to seeing what more there is to come from James.
“Everyone knows the quality that LJ’s got,” the right-back said. “Technically, on the ball, she’s probably one of the best there is.
“It’s fun for me to play with her, because I know she’s always going to get the ball in the right place.
“It’s crazy that she’s so young, because this is the player that everyone has been talking about for five years now.
“Everyone has been waiting for this superstar, and it’s exciting to be here now at the start of her England career.”
James added: “I’m lost for words really. I just like to stay humble, continue giving to the team and continue improving.”
England manager Sarina Wiegman said: “She has been a talent for a long time. She just needed to be available and needed some time at Chelsea.
“She worked really hard at Chelsea. That’s what you have seen this season, then she can take the next step to the national team.
“Now, when she starts playing at this level with Chelsea and in the Champions League and on this international level and gets those minutes, she can improve.
“I hope now she gets consistency, she stays fit and keeps enjoying herself.”
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