Reece James has hailed the impact of summer signings Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva on his own game and Chelsea’s positive start to the season.

The England international has enjoyed a flying start to the campaign and earned plaudits for his crossing abilities as well as defensive attributes.

James, who expected to start for England in their Wembley friendly against Republic of Ireland on Thursday night, described Hakim Ziyech as ‘unbelievably good and Thiago Silva as ‘one of the best in the world after Chelsea new boys made instant impact in Frank Lampard’s side.

Ziyech, 27, a £36million signing from Ajax, has started to make an impact after overcoming a knee injury at the start of the season. The Moroccan has scored twice and contributed three assists in his last four Chelsea outings.

Veteran Brazilian defender Silva, 36, signed on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, has brought his authority and leadership to a Chelsea back-line that was often vulnerable last season.

James has already forged a good understanding with both and toldThe Athletic: ‘Thiago has brought a lot of experience. I have played alongside him a few times now. He has helped me a lot.

‘You can see straight away why he has been one of the best in the world. ‘He constantly talks to me throughout games, helping me in my positioning, directing me and making sure he is talking to me before, during and after games. It all adds up and improves performances.

‘Further forward, there have been signs with Hakim in training. Ever since he arrived, we got on well. I knew I would be playing behind him.

‘We clicked early and tried to build this connection in training to use this season. His left foot is just unbelievably good.’



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