Josh McEachran is about to sign for Brentford on a four-year deal worth around £750,000. He is another example of how football has changed and our youngsters stand little chance.
McEachran had been touted for years as the next Academy product to make it into the Chelsea first team squad and onto the first team on a regular basis. The truth is, McEachran made just 22 appearances in ALL competitions during his time at the club. One of those being the Champions League tie away to Marseille.
McEachran has been sent out on loan from the club in recent years to the likes of Swansea, Middlesborough, Watford and Wigan before he spent last season at Vitesse Arnhem where he featured 15 times in Dutch Eredivisie.
Unfortunately for Josh McEachran and plenty of others around the club during the recent Premier League era, with plenty of money thrown into our game, the pressures of finishing inside the top four and the riches that come with that has changed the focus of our approach to each and every season.
No longer will you see the clubs challenging for the Champions League positions and the Premier League title looking at their Academies during the summer. We will never see the likes of three or four Academy players being brought into contention within first team squads because of the levels of expectation now. Clubs are too scared to give the youngsters a chance because they simply cannot afford to miss out. The financial repercussions would be huge!
Look at Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham. Apart from United who had a lack of numbers at the start of the season due to injuries and a general shortage, all the other clubs spent money last term to maintain their position and to strengthen.
The same will happen again this summer although Jose Mourinho has stated that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will have his chance. It will be interesting to see if he actually does!
I personally think that this is an ideal move for McEachran and he will become pivotal for Brentford in their quest for Premier League football. The chance to settle down, play regular football and to hopefully develop even further is something he would never receive in the Premier League this season because he hasn't had the opportunity to express himself at this level - that's what players in our Academies are up against!
It's a real shame for Josh that he, like many others, has been at the right place at the wrong time.
I wish him luck for the future.