The 20-year-old has become a first-team regular under Frank Lampard this term following an encouraging campaign last term.
The defender has been rewarded for his fine form with a call-up to with England and there’s even talk of James ousting Trent Alexander-Arnold as the Three Lions’ first choice at right-back.
Nevertheless, the defender still has some way to go given his lack of experience at the top and he admits he was given a chastening wake-up call by Liverpool forward Mane earlier this season.
Asked who has been the toughest opponent he’s come across in his career, James said the Senegal international.
‘My toughest opponent has been Sadio Mane,’ James told the Athletic.
‘He is one of the best wingers in the league, if not the world. He is strong, quick, good on the ball and one of the toughest to play against, and then you also have (Mane’s Liverpool team-mate) Andy Robertson on the outside.
‘It used to be about defending but now it is about not only being very good at defending but offering a big attacking threat.’
Andreas Christensen was sent off on the stroke of half-time to tip the balance of play in Liverpool’s favour, while Mane capitalised on a horrific mistake by Kepa to score his second of the game.