His appearance at the Gillette Stadium was just reward for a superb season on-loan at Wigan Athletic.
"I've always had that dream of coming on and playing for my boyhood club, and I am thankful I got to fulfil it," James told the official Chelsea website. "It's a dream come true.
"It is great involvement for me, getting to play with players I have watched as I have been coming through at Chelsea, players who have won Champions Leagues, World Cups.
"I found out a few days before I would be coming out on the trip and I was really excited. I just take in my stride really. I remain focused and now I will try and help the squad build up to the Europa League final.
"It was a very good season at Wigan,' added James, who regularly featured in midfield for the Latics.
"Playing week in week out at a decent level was a good achievement. This is the icing on the cake and hopefully it's just the start."