The Twitter feed of Chelsea defender Reece James is not particularly active, but when he does post to his 740,000 followers, it is pretty much what you would expect of a young footballer.

Among the on-pitch action shots and motivational messages, one recent tweet stood out.

James shared a picture of his new “Mutant Ape”, a non-fungible token (NFT) minted by the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, an off-shoot of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. It made James a member of an exclusive club that includes Chelsea legend John Terry and other celebrities, such as Eminem and Jimmy Fallon.

If no part of that sentence makes sense to you, that’s OK, we can take it slowly from here.

NFTs are digital assets that are bought and sold for large sums of money, just like a piece of art or a football sticker. Some have changed hands for millions of dollars.

Critics, however, feel they can entrap less wealthy punters into a frenzied world of speculation and financial risk. The NFT market is completely unregulated.

The Premier League is considering the option of launching an NFT collection next season and clubs including Manchester City and Rangers have already got in on the act.