The news that Josh McEachran would be leaving Chelsea had been brewing for a couple of days. It was finally confirmed and McEachran has indeed left the Blues on a permanent transfer to Championship club Brentford.
This summer sees a blow to the academy (even though it has been on the cards for a while now) in that two of the brightest and most talented academy players have now left the club for good. First Gael Kakuta and now Josh McEachran.
It was only a short while ago that a younger McEachran was breaking through into the first team and making a name for himself under then manager Carlo Ancelotti. In 2012 it was decided to send Josh out on loan and he moved to Swansea. His time there was, however, less than productive; only making 5 appearances in total.
That move was followed up with a more productive move to Middlesbrough where he enjoyed a good spell, featuring regularly for the club and eventually making 38 appearances for the club in the 2012/13 season. Hopes were then that McEachran was now ready to start making the progress his talent deserved.
The season would see Josh make two more loan moves; firstly to Watford followed up with a move to Wigan. Neither of these loan moves were what could be called a success. In total, across both moves that season, he made a total of 19 appearances and never really established a regular place in the team.
Last season saw what would prove to be his last loan move and this team he went abroad to Chelsea’s Dutch partners Vitesse Arnhem. It was gamble for the young man who had not progressed as he should have done and indeed it took him a long to settle in and starting making an impact on games.
As the season ran to its conclusion, McEachran would start to become a more regular feature and eventually made 15 appearances.
A new chapter now starts for McEachran and he will need to work hard to make a good career for himself. Over the loan moves, reports of a lack of drive and focus on his football has followed him around and he needs to shrug that off and work very hard to turn things around.
No doubt Chelsea will have included a buy-back clause in the deal in case things go very well for the young man. On a personal note having watched him at Academy level being a fantastic player, I wish him the very best and really hope that things work out for him and Brentford.