Josh McEachran

Born on 1 March 1993 in Oxford, Josh McEachran has been with Chelsea since the age of eight, and was a regular in the youth team while still a highly-rated schoolboy.

A left-sided or central creative midfielder with vision and passing to match, he made his Chelsea debut aged just 17 years and six months in September 2010, coming on as a substitute in a 4-1 away Champions League win in Zilina, having helped the Academy to its first FA Youth Cup in 50 years.

McEachran's first team debut made him the youngest to appear in the Champions League for Chelsea until Dominic Solanke played against Maribor in October 2014, and he followed it up with further substitute appearances in the Carling Cup against Newcastle, where his deployment at the centre of midfield in a 10-man team helped inspire a comeback to 3-3 from 3-1 down, and then at Manchester City in the league, when Carlo Ancelotti entrusted the youngster to help his side back into the game after falling behind.

His full Chelsea league debut came in the final home match of the 2010/11 season, a 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle and in total, he made four starts and 13 sub appearances in the campaign with Ancelotti preferring to use him in a deep midfield role.

McEachran was also part of the reserve squad that won the national championship the same season but did not appear in the final play-off due to first-team involvement.

He signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea in July 2011, shortly before embarking on the club's pre-season tour of Asia, and appeared five times under Andre Villas-Boas in the first half of the season before agreeing to a loan move to Swansea City to link up with former Chelsea reserve manager Brendan Rodgers. He went on to make five appearances during his spell at the Liberty Stadium.

At the beginning of the 2012/13 season, having only featured in two of our five pre-season games, McEachran joined Middlesbrough, in the Championship, on a season-long loan, making his debut in a 3-2 win against Burnley at the Riverside Stadium.

It was a season of progression for the youngster who was a regular in Tony Mowbray's side, adapting his game to play in a 4-4-2 formation, at times  wide on the left. He made 35 starts and three sub appearances.  

He was part of the Chelsea squad which travelled to Asia for the 2013 summer tour and featured in two of our three matches. On 20 September 2013 he went on loan to Watford in the Championship until 2 January.  

McEachran's time at Vicarage Road was hampered by injury, and he ended his spell at the club having made five league appearances before moving back to Stamford Bridge in January.

On 23 January he moved to Wigan Athletic on loan for the rest of the season.

His spell at Wigan was a mixed one, with the young midfielder not given a sequence of consecutive appearances. He did, however, play in their shock FA Cup win away at Manchester City, as well as starting the FA Cup semi-final defeat against Arsenal.

In August 2014 it was announced McEachran would spend the 2014/15 season on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie. His year in Holland was one of progression as he became increasingly influential as Vitesse finished fifth and qualified for the Europa League via a play-off. 

International

A member of the England Under-17 squad who lifted the European Championship in 2010, Josh graduated to the Under-19 side at the start of the 2010/11 campaign, and impressed so much that he was selected for the Under-21 squad by Stuart Pearce for a November friendly against Germany, and came on for the final few minutes.

McEachran scored his first goal at Under-21 level with a penalty in the 4-0 win over Austria in March 2013.

In June 2013 he played for England Under-21s at the European Championships in Israel. In the summer of 2014 he was part of the young England side which participated at the Toulon Tournnament.