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Josh McEachran takes center stage on return to Stamford Bridge with Brentford

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Prodigal son Josh McEachran returns to Stamford Bridge. Sometimes, the narrative writes itself. Here’s the Telegraph’s Jason Burt doing the actual writing and interviewing.

Ah yes, Josh McEachran, the wonderkid. The jewel of the Academy. The spearhead of Ancelotti’s (failed) youth movement. The Champions League debutant at age 17, the first player to play in the competition who was born after the inception of the competition. The victim of bad loans, of unreasonable expectations, of managerial instability, of unfortunate injuries, of untimely red cards, even.

The man whom we found in the proverbial basket once.

McEachran eventually tired of the loanee life, packed his bags, and moved a few miles down the road to Brentford. His first season there had been one to forget thanks to breaking his foot not once but twice, but this season, he’s doing much better. Brentford themselves could be doing a bit better (they’re only mid-table), but it’s nice to see young Joshie — can we still call him young at almost 24 when we’ve been tracking him since age 16? — having a bit of success.

If you’re not familiar with the McEachran story, raise your hand, and I’ll direct you to the Telegraph interview linked at the top. If you are, most of that will be familiar. You can probably skip it.

That’s not a slight on Josh McEachran by any means. We — and especially former fearless leader Graham — were huge (YUGE!) fans of Joshie back in the day and were saddened to see it not quite work out for him with the Blues. But the past is the past and we move on. Plenty of new youngsters to burden with our hopes and expectations.

McEachran’s now free to concentrate on carving out a successful career in the top divisions of English football. And while Brentford are no Real Madrid or Chelsea, even, they’re a good club and he’s, at minimum, a good player with a long career ahead of him yet.

“When I was 17 I believed I could play at the top-level and I still believe that now and that’s what I want to do. [...] I feel good, I feel fit and just want to keep playing.”

-Josh McEachran; source: Telegraph