PL2 report: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 6
Chelsea suffered a heavy defeat to Arsenal at a rain-soaked Kingsmeadow as our development squad continue to look for our first Premier League 2 win of the season.
A tall, strong central defender who reads the game well and enjoys playing out with his feet, he has represented Northern Ireland up to the Under-19 age group - and made his Chelsea debut in a London derby against Arsenal in September 2018. The only goal of his maiden season in English football came a fortnight later as he netted what ultimately proved to be the winner away at Swansea.
McClelland signed his first professional contract at Chelsea in July 2019 and made 16 outings for the Under-18s during the 2019/20 season. His next season would be spent with the development squad and after being patient, he made his debut at that level in the 2-1 win over Leicester in December 2020. In total, there were 11 Premier League 2 outings for McClelland throughout the season.
McClelland earned a maiden call-up to the Under-21 national team in 2019 but didn't make an appearance, he captained Northern Ireland Under-19s in the qualification stages of the Under-19 Euro 2020 competition which was due to be hosted in his home country, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On 26 May 2021, McClelland was selected to represent the senior Northern Ireland squad in friendlies against Malta and Ukraine for the first time and made his debut against the latter on 3 June.
McClelland came off the bench in the 89th minute to replace Ciaron Brown against the nation managed by former Blue Andriy Shevchenko. Eventually, Ian Baraclough’s side were defeated in Kyiv by a solitary Oleksandr Zubkov goal in the 10th minute.