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Lauren James: The Rise of the English Youngster

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Lauren James is one of the rising stars in women’s football. She was an increasingly popular figure in women’s football circles and caught the world’s attention at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. James scored two goals and provided three assists in a scintillating performance against China. 

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All that was quickly forgotten after she stepped on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie. Here’s the full story.

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Career Development

Lauren James: The Rise of the English Youngster
Lauren James while signing a contract at Chelsea. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Born on 29 September 2001, Lauren James joined the Chelsea academy when she was six years old. She played for the clubs U10 and U14s before moving to Arsenal. 

She was so good that she trained with the first team but since she was younger, Lauren trained at the boys academy. In 2017, she became Arsenal’s second youngest player to start a game in the team’s 2-0 win over Everton. 

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Moving to Manchester United

In 2018, the winger left Arsenal for Manchester United Women who were playing in the second division. Lauren James was part of the Red Devil’s first professional side. Her performances were integral to United’s promotion to the Women’s Super League. She was the team’s top scorer and was nominated for the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year. 

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Transfer to Chelsea

After three years at Manchester United, the forward rejoined Chelsea on a four-year deal. Sky Sports reported that the deal was worth £200,000 with bonuses. Apart from progressing her career, the English youngster wanted to be closer to her family.

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She’s gained significant influence on Emma Hayes’s side. So far, Lauren James has played 25 games for the Blues. In 2023, she was named the Young Player of the Year and the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year Award. 

In June 2023, she extended her contract at the club until 2027.

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International Career

The forward played for England’s U17 and U19 teams between 2017 and 2019. In 2020, Lauren James joined the national team for the first time, and her first senior appearance came in 2022. She was named in England’s World Cup squad. 

After a player of the match performance against China, she was banned for two games for ‘violent conduct’ against Michelle Alozie. 

The player is a gem. Her footwork, composure, and situational awareness during the game set her aside from many. Football has become more technical, with various attributes like dribbling being coached out of players in favor of passing and moving the ball. James’ flair on the ball is one of her stand-out qualities, and she has many more years to become even better.

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