An England under 21 international who has been tipped for a big future in the game by one of footballs most successful coaches in Carlo Anceloti, Josh McEachran is so very close to making it at the top level of our game. He is currently training daily with the senior squad at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground, and has regularly found himself occupying the bench for the club in the last 12 months.
Yet, history proves that as close as he is, there is still a long way to go for the youngster. A creative midfielder, in his handful of appearances McEachran has impressed the faithful at Stamford Bridge with his sure touch and precise passing game. However, with his 20 appearances thus far largely off the substitute’s bench, both McEachran and the club must not run the risk of allowing his development to stagnate.
Chelsea are blessed with numerous options in midfield and the summer signings of Juan Mata and Oriel Romeu seem to have further limited McEachran’s chances of a consistent run in the Chelsea first team. At one point in the season, if suspensions and injuries combine, McEachran may well just get his chance to make an impact under Andre Villas-Boas. But, what if the Chelsea midfield remains largely injury free? Quite simply, McEachran needs football.
At any stage of their career, footballers need to be playing competitive football regularly. With the news that Swansea City may be interested in taking McEachran on loan, surely the move can only benefit all parties involved.
Jack Wilshere found himself in a similar situation in January 2010, on the cusp of making it into the Arsenal first team. Wilshere was sent on loan to Bolton and under the management of Owen Coyle made a significant impact for the club. Bolton wanted to take Wilshere on loan once more at the start of last season but Arsene Wenger had seen enough.
Wilshere was thrown straight into the first team and went on to win PFA Young Player of the Year. Now a regular in both the Arsenal and England sides, few would doubt the effect his short spell at Bolton had in helping establish himself.
Brendan Rogers has been working wonders for Swansea and the clubs style of football is well suited to McEachran’s natural game. Rogers, a former youth coach at Chelsea, would be the perfect manager to aid McEachran in his devlopment.
If the move goes ahead, or at the very least McEachran finds himself on loan at another Premier League club this season, and the young midfielder is successful, then there is every chance McEachran can be a Chelsea regular in the near future.
A loan move is the best one for all, let’s just hope for McEachran’s sake that the club do not let his talents waste away by a continued lack of competitive football.
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