Despite being one of the Blues' most reliable performers during his seven-year stay in west London, new manager Frank Lampard has been far from impressed with the Spaniard's displays this term. Should the fullback continue to struggle, his coach could hand an opportunity to one of the club's brightest prospects in James.
The teenager is nearing full fitness following after undergoing ankle surgery in July and could be thrown into the deep end once his recovery is complete.
Fellow academy graduates Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have been shining lights in a testing start for Lampard at Stamford Bridge, whilst Fikayo Tomori has also been afforded game-time.
Chelsea currently occupy 11th place in the Premier League table, seven points off leaders Liverpool, who have an 100% record.