England captain Bright hails James's 'ridiculous' World Cup impact

England captain Millie Bright hails Lauren James’s ‘ridiculous’ impact at the World Cup after stunning display against China

  • Lauren James was involved in five goals in England’s 5-1 win against China
  • James has been a revelation at the World Cup after not starting the first game
  • Millie Bright has praised her for coming into the side and taking her chance 

Two goals, right foot, left foot. Three assists, right foot, left foot, header. Lauren James can do it all. Emma Hayes, her Chelsea manager, said on commentary ‘we are witnessing brilliance.’

Even England manager Sarina Wiegman, who usually refuses to talk about individual performances, said James did ‘special things’ on the pitch.

James scored a superb strike from outside the box in the first half before adding a sublime volley in the second. Had it not been for a contentious VAR decision, which ruled out another phenomenal goal, she would have had a historic World Cup hat-trick.

There was a sign in the crowd that read: ‘Lauren James is better than Reece.’ The forward’s brother has been watching her games from Chelsea’s pre-season tour. He had said at the end of last year that his sister is ‘the best player in the world and will be for the next 10-15 years’. It seemed premature at the time, but James is quickly becoming one of the most valuable players on the planet.

James is quiet and reserved off the pitch but has bonded with the experienced Lucy Bronze, who is acting as a mentor.

Lauren James scored two goals and provided three assists against China on Tuesday

Rachel Daly (pictured with James) has described her England team-mate as ‘lethal’

England captain Millie Bright has labelled James’s impact at the World Cup as ‘ridiculous’

Her team-mates are in awe of her talent, but recognise she still needs guidance and support. James is still just 21 years old but after three games she has been involved in the most goals of any player at a World Cup – and she did not even start the first match. Her two goals and three assists saw her become the first England player, male or female, to be involved in five goals in a single game.

Leah Williamson previously described James as ‘cheat code’, a phrase used in gaming where people use a code to skip levels. It is a nickname that has stuck.

‘I will just say one thing, last night we were walking round the pitch, and we have come out of here and there’s the Player of the Match sign as you walk out. I said: “Have a look at that kid, because that will be you tomorrow night,”’ Rachel Daly said of James. ‘That’s how much we back her!

‘It’s just nice for the rest of the world to see how good she is. Cheat code as everyone is calling her. That’s what she is.

‘She is a nightmare for defenders to defend as the ball just sticks to her. She’s lethal.’

A smug Hayes had joked on ITV commentary that she hoped ‘whichever club has this player, signed her to a long-term contract.’ England captain Millie Bright sees James’ talent week in week out at Chelsea and expressed her pride for her ‘ridiculous’ team-mate.

‘Seeing the youngsters grow and Lauren grow – I see at her club and now we’re seeing her at country.

‘Seeing Lauren and all of them coming, it’s unbelievable to be in the same team as them. It feels ridiculous and I’m quite proud. I feel great about the atmosphere and culture we have in our group. Players feeling like they can express themselves on the pitch is what we want.’

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