You may often wonder the affect that your Twitter activity can have on some players, positive or negative. Most of the time these things will get unnoticed by the more popular players, as they’re often advised against reading things written about them.

However, for some of the younger players who’s popularity has yet to grow, reading Twitter posts that they are tagged in is something that definitely happens.

Yesterday I put a poll out on my Twitter account asking who you’d prefer to have in our squad, Wigan Athletic loanee Reece James, or heavily linked Albanian International Elseid Hysaj. For me it’s a no brainer, having watched Reece from a young age and followed him again this season, he is one of a handful of our youth players who I firmly believe to be ready now. So let’s not spend another £40 million odd on a backup right back, let’s save that cash and use a competent Reece James, who is having an immense season at Wigan.

Before people jump in with it being a different standard in League One etc. Of course, but I’m not basing my opinion on his performances there, like Ethan Ampadu, and Callum Hudson-Odoi – Reece already has the ability, mentality and most importantly the mature attitude to slot right into our squad now. He doesn’t need a loan that can potentially damage his progress. He needs chances with the first team and training from Maurizio Sarri.

Anyway, I digressed a little. Reece won the poll, quite easily really. 3,300 people voted, and Reece got 75% of the votes. So the majority of the Chelsea fan base that follow me, agreed that he should get the chance.

So I decided to let Reece know the results, and that we as supporters were backing him, I tagged him in a post attached to the poll letting him know the results and that we were rooting for him. He liked this post straight away, as well as the poll!

I’m adamant that this would have put a huge smile on his face, as well as providing him with the motivation to go on with his excellent individual season at Wigan, and drive him to believe that he can make it at Chelsea, with the firm backing of the fans.

In a day and age where our club has grown so big it’s often impossible to have that connection with players as fans, it’s refreshing to see that players like Reece appreciate the support he receives and actually sees it.

To conclude, Reece for me has it all, I’m not deluded and I don’t believe that every youth player can make it, but I know a handful are definitely good enough, and Reece is one of them. He’s a leader, he has that extra desire and passion, and is a natural footballer.

I hope you all saw that sliding tackle he made with his head on Saturday? If not, search it out now – very John Terry-esque (it’s on my Twitter page).

A word on Ola Aina, who I haven’t forgotten. Yes I’d much rather have him over Hysaj as well. But it looks highly likely that Torino will be signing him permanently and he wants that move as well, which is why he wasn’t included in this poll.

Simon Phillips

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