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Josh McEachran

Started by Term-X,

2,140 posts in this topic

Deco's successor. :eyebrows: No, I mean that number suits him perfectly. Can't wait to see Josh in action, superb playmaker. %28Y%29.gif

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If we don't get Modric from Tottenham, I say we play him for a majority of the Premier League games! I think squad number 20 shows that Chelsea desperately want to keep him, and that they want him to mould into the squad.

If we do get Modric, McEachran won't get as many games (sadly) but he will be among players like Modric to give him a helping hand in terms of experience!

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Unless like one of my friends you already got McEachran 46! LOL

I suppose it's better than getting a Zhirkov 18 shirt! :lol:

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I hope he gets at least 15 Premier League appearances this season. I think he should be starting for the FA Cup and the Carling Cup.

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ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS has turned down Josh McEachran's request to leave Chelsea on loan.

The new Blues boss has promised 18-year-old McEachran he will get enough first-team chances this season to warrant staying at Stamford Bridge.

And the club's brightest prospect since John Terry is prepared to put his faith in a manager who is clearly working with an eye on the future.

The soccer grapevine has been buzzing about McEachran since Ray Wilkins first saw him training with the Chelsea youth team and compared him to a young Liam Brady.

But that was more than three years ago and McEachran has made only one Premier League start since.

In his first major interview, McEachran confirmed: "I did ask to go out on loan at the start of the season but Andre said he wants me to stay because he thinks I will get enough games here.

"I saw in the paper that Fabio Capello wanted me to go on loan to get more experience but Andre is my manager and if he wanted me to go on loan, that's what I'd do.

"It's not going to happen before the transfer window closes next week, but maybe it could happen in the new year."

There would certainly be no shortage of takers for the young man who saw how Jack Wilshere's career took off with Arsenal last year following a spell on loan at Bolton.

And if patience really is a virtue, then McEachran must be pushing for sainthood as he waits for his chance to shine.

Carlo Ancelotti gave him his first-team debut as a Champions League sub away to MSK Zilina last September and a number of other appearances from the bench followed.

But as Chelsea's season fell apart, McEachran disappeared from view and did not return to the side until they were already out of Europe and the title race.

He confessed: "It was a frustrating time for me. The team was going through a difficult spell and I wanted to contribute and be a part of things.

"But Carlo was under a lot of pressure at the time and I could see why he preferred to use the experienced players rather than the likes of me and Daniel Sturridge.

"When you're with a club as big as Chelsea you are always competing for a place in the team against world-class players so you know you have to be on their level just to get a game.

"It does need a lot of patience but I prefer to be with a top-class club and training with world-class players every day.

"I do feel much more a part of things under Andre Villas-Boas. He gave me a lot of minutes on the pitch during our pre-season games and hopefully I can keep doing that."

McEachran has been earmarked for big things since joining Chelsea as an eight-year-old and recently signed a new five-year contract with Villas-Boas' blessing.

And he is convinced his opportunity will eventually come, despite seeing the likes of Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair and Jack Cork giving up on their Chelsea dreams in recent years.

He said: "That was their decision to play at a high level somewhere else, but I want to play for Chelsea so I will keep going here.

"I have supported this club since I was a little boy and I do believe I have what is needed to succeed here.

"I've been patient all this time and I need to carry on that way.

"Chelsea has one of the oldest teams in the Premier League and the boss is clearly looking to the future.

"He has just signed Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Thibaut Courtois, three players of a similar age to me. So we all have to work hard in training and make sure we take our opportunities when they come."

McEachran has a head start on those young newcomers as he has been part of the scene since being thrown into the first-team squad by Phil Scolari four managers ago.

He recalled: "I was 15 at the time and just about to go training with the Under-16s when the manager came over and said, 'You're with the first team'.

"I thought it was a wind-up at first. It was a big shock and obviously I was excited as well as nervous. But all the senior players were really good with me and the English players helped me a lot to settle in.

"When I stepped up from reserve to first-team level I was shocked at how quick everything was. But you get used to that after a while and physically I feel I can hold my own now. Now the senior players treat me the same as everyone else. They see me as a first-team player.

"I am part of the banter and have a laugh with the other players. But they haven't given me a nickname yet. Honest!"

That has been a strange experience for McEachran, who idolised the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard when he was growing up and still has a football signed by Gianluca Vialli and Dennis Wise.

He said: "The coach of Chelsea's Under-9s, Robert Osbourne, got the ball for me. I was a massive Chelsea fan as a boy. It was hard to concentrate at school when all I wanted to do was play football but I was quite well behaved. Not the cleverest, but I did OK."

McEachran's parents, Mark and Julie, would drive him to Chelsea's old training ground at Harlington four times a week from their home in the Oxfordshire village of Kirtlington.

He was back at his old stamping ground this week to help promote the Just Play campaign, recently launched by Mars and the FA to encourage adults to start playing football again.

He said: "I used to watch my dad playing for the Kirtlington village team. My parents still live here and I'm in touch with a lot of my old schoolmates. I still go to watch them playing every now and then.

"My mother and my grandparents all come from Scotland but I am English and they're all fine about me playing for England.

"Winning the European Under-17 Championships with England has been the highlight of my career so far, along with winning the FA Youth Cup for Chelsea.

"But now I want to get more game time with the senior team and the boss has said he'll be playing a younger side in the Carling Cup, so that could be an opportunity for me.

"I really want it to happen for me at Chelsea. I've been here 10 years now and I don't see myself anywhere else.

"I am aware of the expectations and I have to deal with that. I know it is going to take time but I am prepared to wait.

"If the manager says I'll get games here this season, that's very encouraging."


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