Lauren James to Chelsea: 3 possible starting XIs Emma Hayes could choose from

Emma Hayes Lauren James Chelsea

When it comes to transfer windows, the Women's Super League doesn't rest. One of the most exciting rumours of the summer has come to fruition – Lauren James is officially a Chelsea player.

The striker was linked to the move for a number of months before she finally penned a four-year deal with the Blues. She follows her brother Reece to West London, where she will be hoping to replicate his Champions League-winning season.

Emma Hayes already has a frightening attack, and adding James to the roster is yet another huge coup for the boss. GiveMeSport Women has predicted three possible lineups involving James that Hayes could opt for when the 2021/22 season starts.

4-2-3-1

Chelsea predicted XI

Chelsea often play in this formation to cater for their world class attack, with two holding midfielders just in front of the backline. This would be the most realistic option for Hayes to choose if James is going to be integrated into the squad straight away.

With Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr as the focal point of the attack, there will be a little less pressure on James to be active in front of goal as she settles into her new team. The 19-year-old is versatile and can operate on the left wing as well, which could work beautifully for Hayes as she wouldn't have to drop Pernille Harder or Fran Kirby.

The latter created an electrifying partnership with Kerr last season and bagged herself 16 goals and 11 assists in 18 league games. Opting for a a 4-2-3-1 formation would see Kirby and James placed out wide, with Harder playing in either the second striker or No.10 position to further support Kerr up front.

4-3-3

Chelsea predicted XI

This standard formation would also benefit James as she gets used to Chelsea's style of play, but it would mean dropping Harder to the bench.

However, the tactician that is Hayes isn't afraid to mix things up each week to keep the opposition on their toes. Harder was named as a substitute on several occasions last season, such is the nature of Hayes' heavy metal football style.

The Denmark international could take a backseat for the first few matches while James earns some valuable experience playing alongside the devastating duo that is Kerrby.

4-4-1-1

Chelsea predicted XI

If both Hayes and James are feeling lucky, this formation could be the one. 

It will be a bold move to throw the youngster in at the deep end and deploy her in the No.9 position straight away, but the challenge could be what she needs to get straight off the mark for her new club.

James is no stranger to stepping up when it comes to big occasions either. The 19-year-old made history for Man United by scoring the club's first goal in both the Championship and Women's Super League. She also netted the team's first ever goal at Old Trafford.

With the support of Chelsea's experienced forwards, James will quickly come into her own with the Blues. Whether Hayes decides to utilise her new signing immediately or let her train and observe first, there's no doubt the rising star will become one of the WSL's most clinical forwards.

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