This is the first in a series of articles called Rough Diamonds where we look at young players who have the potential to be World-Class footballers when they reach their prime.
Joshua Mark “Josh” McEachran or commonly known as Josh McEachran is an English footballer who plays for Premier League club Chelsea. The talented 18 year old was born on the 1st of March 1993 in Oxford, England and plays as an attacking midfielder.
Carlo Ancelotti preferred to play him in a slightly deeper role and a left sided one against Newcastle,which by the way was his first league start where his lack of physical strength clearly showed.
McEachran began playing football for Garden City F.C. in the Oxford Mail Boys League.
At the tender age of 8, and while in action for Garden City F.C, McEachran was spotted by a Chelsea scout.
It was not long before he joined Chelsea as an academy player at the age of 8 and rose through the ranks while juggling his academic responsibilities at Marlborough School in Woodstock.
McEachran slowly progressed through the youth system and spent a total of nine years in the Chelsea youth set-up before being promoted to the first team.
Against Newcastle he played in a deeper role which Ancelotti found for Andrea Pirlo with Milan, that of a deep-lying midfield player who intercepts rather than tackles and whose main function is to initiate attacks by distributing the ball quickly, accurately and shrewdly.
“Carlo likes him in that role,” said Ray Wilkins before he was controversially sacked. But Wilkins, himself a former teenage Chelsea playmaker, had seen something else when, in his erstwhile role as assistant manager, he first glimpsed McEachran in an under‑15 tournament a few years ago, while sitting next to Neil Bath, the club’s academy director.
“This spindly little kid got on the ball and had a little shimmy and stuck the ball inside the full-back. I turned to Neil and said, ‘My God, it’s Liam Brady!’ I couldn’t have paid him a bigger compliment. He’s got that range of passing and he can play it early. He doesn’t need time on the ball because he’s seen the picture before. And he’s come on in leaps and bounds.
He also has the quick feet and the ability to accept the ball on half turn like Paul Scholes does.
The way Wilshire stepped up and handled responsibilty is something you dont get to see very often,Josh has to wait before he gets a chance.A loan move may do him good,especially if he plays every week.
But there is room for improvement,he need to improve physically.Luka Modric and Jack Wilshire are small players but who play deep in the midfield and battle it out with stronger opponents.Ancelotti somehow deosnt seem to want to play him in advanced role.
I think he ll be better off playing just behind the striker using the wonderful left foot of his to pick out passes,but as these days teams are playing with defensive midfielders,may be Carlo is right in training him to play deeper.
McEachran represented England at U-16 level and was part of the England U17 side to win the 2010 European Under-17 Football Championship.
The youngster quickly progressed through the ranks and has since gone on to become a regular in the England U19 side.
McEachran was further rewarded for his good early season form with Chelsea’s first team with a call up to the England U21 side to face Germany on 16 November 2010 in which he made his debut.
But as any scout will tell you, usually with a rueful air, there is no knowing how a prodigy will turn out when adolescence is left behind.
Joe Cole, for example, seems to have spent most of his career desperately trying to prove that there is more to him than the precious skill he showed as a teenager at West Ham United.