We've been watching Josh McEachran closely this season, and he's been very impressive in the Championship. The official website decided to check in with Josh, and to ask him about how things are going up north. It's more of the same from what we've come to expect from Josh, but a bit at the end caught my eye. The item in question:
A return in January isn't impossible, particularly with John Mikel Obi heading off to represent Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations, but until he is told otherwise, his sole focus is on his current side.
Whomever did the interview with Josh obviously asked about keeping in touch with Chelsea and the possibility of a recall, and McEachran had the following to say:
'I speak to [Chelsea assistant first team coach] Steve Holland every couple of weeks and a few of the boys as well, so I'm still in touch with what's going on at the club,' he says. 'If I stay here, because obviously there is a chance I could go back to Chelsea in January, my main aim is just to keep on improving as a player and help Middlesbrough gain promotion back to the Premier League, and we don't expect anything less than that because there is so much quality in the squad.'
We've heard McEachran comment on the possibility of a recall before, but it's interesting to see these comments on Chelsea's website. In general, the Chelsea website tends to avoid talk based on speculation, so I was not expecting to see the interviewer ask Josh about a potential January move. While this doesn't mean that McEachran will be recalled, after seeing this comment I'd be surprised if the club have ruled out the move.
The move would make sense to some extent as well. Chelsea aren't deep in terms of players that can play in the pivot, and with the Europa League and Rafa Benitez's rotation policy, I'd expect to see Chelsea needing close to two full strength teams. With the loss of some Champions League revenue and qualification for next year still in doubt, I'd expect to see Chelsea shop a little less aggressively than they could have this January. I guess this will just be even more reason to watch Boro games...