Many of the Stamford Bridge faithful will be all too aware of Chelsea’s promising teenager Josh McEachran, who was part of the team that won the FA Youth Cup last season for the west London club, but to others the name won’t be so familiar.
Who exactly is McEachran and what exactly can the Blues hope to expect from him in the future?
McEachran is a 17-year-old who has recently been awarded for his progress at the club by being signed up on a full-time professional contract. He plays on the left-side or centre of midfield as a creative playmaker and had been England’s Under-16 captain, but has now become a part of the Under-17 side and helped them to win the European Under-17 Championships.
The England Under-17 side has been described as the best passing side by the FA’s Trevor Brooking, but he stressed that these players must find first team football at the highest level in the coming years if they are to fulfil their potential.
It should be some time before he will be expected to make the step up and play first team football for the senior team, but Carlo Ancelotti must have surprised him a little when he elected to play him in Chelsea’s pre season opener at Crystal Palace.
McEachran was deployed in the hole behind Daniel Sturridge and Franco Di Santo and seemed to relish his chance to play in front of a fairly large crowd at Selhurst Park showing promising skill, incisive passing and was heavily involved in most of the good things that Chelsea did in the first half. But his most telling touch came just before the hours when assisted Michael Essien for the winning goal following some good work by Sturridge.
He also made many mistakes during the game, but this is only natural for a player who is still learning and surely a pre season friendly is the perfect opportunity to do this as the pressure is off.
It is doubtful that he will start in the remaining pre season fixtures as Yossi Benayoun is probably over the injury that kept him out against Palace, but many fans will hope to see more from the youngster McEachran who will hopefully make the grade in the coming years.
For those who have seen Josh McEachran in action, do you believe he can make it at Chelsea?
Highlights of McEachran for Chelsea’s youths: