Josh McEachran is, as any long-time reader knows, a favourite around these parts. The midfielder was incredibly impressive in the early stages of Carlo Ancelotti's second year with the club, outshining vastly more experienced opponents whenever he took the pitch. He looked ready for stardom.
Unfortunately, stardom still hasn't come. Two years of ineffective loans have left him seemingly no closer to making an impact at Chelsea than when he first departed Stamford Bridge. There's obviously talent there -- it doesn't just evaporate -- but nobody's been able to bring it out just yet. McEachran needs a successful spell with someone, and he needs with quite badly.
Which is why hearing Wigan manager Uwe Rossler praising him after his first appearance with the Latics (in which he got the assist which sparked their late comeback) is so encouraging:
We brought Josh on to help push [Ben Watson] forward a little more, whilst still being able to start the play from the back. Josh enabled us to do that but it was also a chance for me to see where Josh is up to in terms of his fitness and I have to say he was magnificent when he got on the ball, moving it through the lines and creating the first goal.
McEachran had been, as Rossler points out, light on match fitness after barely figuring for Watford in the first half of the season, but it sounds as though any doubts about his ability to help Wigan have now been comprehensively demolished. It's important to make first impressions, especially when dealing with a midfield as (relatively) strong as the Latics, and it's fantastic that Josh seems to have done just that.
Hopefully this is just the beginning.
PS: Here's the assist.
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