I have always assumed that Josh McEachran will one day be a star at Chelsea. I mean, he simply has to be, right? Having arrived as a seven-year-old, Josh is Chelsea to the core. He trained with the first team at 15 and was a fully entrenched starter in the Reserves at 16. Given his debut in 2010, at just 17 by Carlo Ancelotti, he looked to have ability, vision, and composure well beyond his years. He took home the club's Young Player of the Year award, while making 17 first team appearances that season.
He's made five since.
By all accounts, he did well on loan for Tony Mowbray at Middlesborough last year - especially while Boro were challenging for promotion - but after traveling with Chelsea to Asia, he's been left out of the squad for the tour of the USA. I think most of us are assuming that this is indicative of another loan deal coming up soon ... but what if it's heralding something a bit more permanent?
Jonathan Dos Santos, otra vez titular con el Barça. Me da que la opción del inglés del Chelsea, McEachran, gana enteros en la @RealSociedad— Kike Marin** (@Kike_Marin_) July 27, 2013
After a bit of digging, the journalist's tweet has led us to this story in Noticias de Gipuzkoa, a newspaper local to Donostia where Real Sociedad are located.
Basically, their story goes something like this:
- Asier Illarramendi is gone. Replacement is needed.
- Interest in Jonathan Dos Santos has been rebuffed by new Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino
- Josh McEachran!
The article seems to imply a permanent move citing the same, seemingly downward trending career trajectory that I touched on above, with the added "reasons" of McEachran being more "fit" for the Spanish-style passing game. Of course, claims of excellent passing and a lack of physicality are nothing new when it comes to the 20-year-old.
McEachran has three years left on his current Chelsea contract. There soon will come a point where a hard decision will have to made about his future. He appears to not be in the first team plans for this season and will need a challenging loan destination. Real Sociedad and La Liga would certainly fit that bill.
Hopefully not permanently.
BONUS VIDEO: Ten minutes of McEachran for Boro this past season. Enjoy.