Whatever happened to Josh McEachran?

When a 17-year-old Josh McEachran came on for his Chelsea debut under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010, the excitement and optimism was tangible. During this debut, on the final day of the season, he displayed eye catching passing ability.

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The future looked so bright for the slender but elegant midfielder. He made 16 appearances for Chelsea during the 2010/11 season. He was so impressive during these early years that he was linked with a move to Real Madrid.

However, after Ancelotti’s sacking, McEachran would never play for the Blues again. The various loan spells began at the start of the 2011/12 season.

He went from Swansea City to Middlesbrough, Watford, Wigan Athletic and Vitesse Arnhem across three and a half seasons. The Englishman finally joined Brentford in the Championship on a permanent deal where he still plays. He only scored his first professional goal yesterday at the age of 25.

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It would be easy to say that McEachran has failed to make the most of his own talent or that perhaps he was never particularly good anyway.

However, McEachran was a part of the main group under Ancelotti. He was gaining experience and confidence. If he had continued his gradual first team development, who knows what might have been possible.

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Instead, he returned to Chelsea on pre-season, expecting to train with the first team and was told he was no longer part of it. For loan after loan, he struggled to find a permanent home in which he could truly flourish. This was an opportunity missed, for him and for Chelsea.