The former Blues star considers a highly-rated academy graduate in Stamford Bridge will challenge Liverpool’s right-back for global recognition.

Reece James will be”pushing Trent Alexander-Arnold all the way” when it comes to England’s right-back place, says Joe Cole, with the Chelsea defender regarded as”different course”.

A 20-year-old academy graduate in Stamford Bridge is enjoying a breakout season on a Premier League stage.

Having unlocked further possible during a productive loan spell in Wigan at 2018-19, the highly-rated kid is among those to have been given an opportunity by Frank Lampard in west London.

Despite facing competition from the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta for regular match time, James has been able to take in 23 appearances across all contests.

He’s captured the eye in those, with his delivery in the flanks earning comparisons to England legend David Beckham.

The same was said of Liverpool celebrity Alexander-Arnold on a regular basis, with the Reds full-back seeking to set a new Premier League record this term after contributing another 12 aids .

He’s thought of as the top contender for a spot on the right of England’s defensive unit, with Gareth Southgate well-stocked in that section, but Cole says James is set to come into the reckoning.

The former Chelsea and Three Lions midfielder told BT Sport: “He is different course, Reece, people discuss his delivery but he is very rarely out of position defensively, he is a strong lad, he is cold, he is calculated in his drama.

“He has been one of Chelsea’s most consistent players over the past couple of weeks. He is going to be pushing Trent all the way.

“When he gets the ball you feel secure in almost any position. He simply puts balls into the region, it is inviting if you are a striker.

“Maybe there will need to be a system change since this man may be playing for England very, very shortly.”

Southgate is now in the process of piecing together his plans to get friendly outings against Italy and Denmark in March.

The England boss is forecast to experiment inside his next group, as one eye is turned to the future once again, and it might be that James measures up from the U-21 ranks and in the senior fold.