Chelsea FC are one of the league’s biggest teams and of course European Champions. With this prestige and wealth comes an invariably better youth system. While recently not many of Chelsea’s young stars have made the breakthrough to the first-team one player the club holds a lot of hope for is Josh McEachran.
The England youth international is considered one of the most technically gifted young Englishman on the scene.
So when he was sent out on loan to Swansea City at the end of last season it seemed the perfect fit. Working with a manager he knew in Brendan Rodgers, among a team that play a technical passing game he should have fitted like a glove.
Unfortunately that was not the case as his slight frame saw him consistently bullied off the ball in the Premier League and his loan spell in south Wales was not a success.
However since he moved on loan to Middlesbrough this season he has improved vastly. Playing more often than not from the right hand side and coming in onto his left foot he has proved a tricky customer and helped propel Boro into a Championship promotion battle.
He realises what help playing in the Championship has been:
“I’ve developed a lot. Chelsea play a different formation to Middlesbrough and my defensive side of the game wasn’t as good as it is now…There’s players in the Championship who will smash you if you aren’t on your toes, so playing in this division can only make me stronger…I think I’ve become stronger mentally as well as physically.’’
It worked previously with Ryan Bertrand who enjoyed loan spells at various Championship clubs before making the step up into the first team picture at the Bridge and now McEachran is hopeful he can continue to improve at the Riverside ahead of a first-team push in London next season.
“I’ve never played this number of games on the bounce in my career, so I’m really enjoying my football, Tony Mowbray has been great with me so far, I get on well with him. He is great around the training ground and he lets me express myself on the pitch. Hopefully I can play a lot more games here.”
What do you make of McEachran? Can his time in the Championship help mould him into a Premier League operator?
image: © steenbergs