Lauren James has been on fire so far this season having 10 goals in 10 games, as Chelsea sit three points ahead at the top of the table; double her goal tally for the whole of last season.
Lauren James has been a player who typically stands out through her performances on the pitch especially through the year 2023. The World Cup was where Lauren James showed her class on a global stage, scoring three and assisting a further three in five appearances, as England reached the final of the World Cup. But the real question is; what sets James apart from other attackers that makes her that much more dangerous?
James sets herself apart from other attackers in the league by being so direct with possession and therefore being aggressive on the opposition to respond.
One way is through her frequency of shots. So far this season, she has had 40 shots with 19 of those on target. Of these 19, 10 have ended up as a goal. In comparison, Manchester City winger, Lauren Hemp only has 26 shots on goal with 14 on target which has resulted in her scoring 5 so far this season. The distance of James' shots have also been 3 metres further back from goal than Hemp at 17.4 yards on average compared to Hemp's 14.4 metres. These shots from further back by James have resulted in spectacular goals for her in the past and have shown an eagerness to use the space when given.
Another example of James showing herself as a fierce attacker is in her take-ons. James averages 3.00 successful take-ons per game so far in the WSL which puts her in the top 8% of players in take-ons. This is integral to the way that Chelsea attack especially with James playing in the No.10 role and also on the wing. James' take-ons would allow for attackers to operate on higher levels even if her involvment wasn't directly linked with the goals. For instance, Sam Kerr had 4 goals and 3 asissts in 8 appearances prior to her ACL injury.
However, there is another side of the coin which may halt James in the long run for her career, which is her discipline.
As talented as the 22 year old is, her untimely decision to step on Nigerian player Michelle Alozie resulted in her sending off and not being eligible until the final. This angered many fans of the Lionesses who said that she was still too immature and needed to learn discipline in order to be considered a top player. However, this is also one of only two red cards she has had in her career, having collected one in the 2019/2020 season whilst playing for Manchester United. She has so far this season collected three yellow cards and not picking up a red since the already mentioned incident back in the summer of 2023.
Overall, James is a fantastic player with the potential and talent to go right to the top in the beautiful game. Fans may have questions over her maturity and her mentality in these big game situations. Giving her age, there is no reason why she cannot topple these doubters and turn them into believers in her talents.