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Josh McEachran is a Chelsea fan-favorite. The youngster was brought up in our very own academy, and there's certainly pride for us Blues fans to see one of our own have such a bright future at our club.
But although we are excited about the player he'll become one day and are anxious to see him in our senior squad as a starter someday, the fact of the matter is, he just isn't ready yet.
With Raul Meireles, Ramires, Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Oriol Romeu and soon-to-be Michael Essien all competing for three spots in the midfield, it's unlikely young Josh will overtake them in the pecking order as things stand right now. The solution to this conundrum would be a loan for the second half of the season.
It was reported by Sky Sports today that André Villas-Boas suggested on Friday that McEachran could be sent on loan, as the side "didn't have as many competing in midfield last year, so Josh had more chances to be in the team," meaning that he could be loaned this year to get more experience. Villas-Boas also added that he will definitely be a part of the Blues' future, saying, "I've been choosing others, but that doesn't mean Josh's future wouldn't be at Chelsea. It will be."
According to reports in the English media today, Swansea City FC are intending to make a move for the midfielder once the January window opens after the new year. Whether this specific report is true or not, AVB should definitely make sending young Josh out on loan a chief priority.
Many fans opposed to this idea say we should keep him because he's being used for League and FA Cup matches, but that just isn't good enough. If we had said that about Daniel Sturridge at this time last season and not sent him to Bolton Wanderers on loan, he wouldn't be anywhere near as advanced as he is today.
Additionally, Arsenal's Jack Wilshere was sent on a loan last season, and is now regarded as one of the best young Englishmen in the League. This is certainly a possibility for Josh as well, but only if he gets the playing time he needs to develop into a more complete footballer, which he can only attain from a loan spell to another PL club.