The Scout is back and taking a closer look at Chelsea and England starlet Josh McEachran…

18-year-old McEachran is a product of Chelsea’s academy system. The Oxford-born midfielder was spotted at just eight and has been accelerating through the ranks of the West London club ever since.

He was handed his debut by Carlo Ancelotti in the Champions League clash with MSK Zilina in mid-September, coming on as a second-half substitute. McEachran became the first player to play in the UEFA Champions League who was actually born after its inception in 1992.

McEachran made his first league start against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on 15 May 2011 in a 2-2 draw. In total that season he made nine starts and 13 substitute appearances in campaign with then manager Carlo Ancelotti preferring to use him in a deep midfield role. His performances earned the star the Chelsea Young Player of The Year award on 19 May 2011.

However, the midfielder has found it hard to hold down a place in the first team squad but he has emerged as a key player for the England Under 21s earning seven caps to date despite still being just 19.

Blessed with outstanding technical ability, McEachran can play across midfield but recently has been used as a more advanced playmaker.

‘That’s Liam Brady!’ It was the biggest compliment I could think of at the time.”

Former Chelsea player and former Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins recalled the first time he laid eyes on McEachran saying: “A couple of years back, when I had just joined Chelsea, I was watching an Under-17 match between us and Racing, a club side from Argentina. Josh was playing, despite only being 15; I’d never seen him play before, but in the first half he cut inside someone and played an inch-perfect pass inside the full-back. I turned to the other Chelsea coaches next to me and said, ‘That’s Liam Brady!’ It was the biggest compliment I could think of at the time.”

Stuart Pearce, also praised McEachran after an Under-21 friendly against Italy. He said: “Chelsea think extremely highly of him and you can see why. He’s got the ability and the vision that you know, if players run off of him, he’s got the ability to find them with passes. All of our cutting passes probably came from him. I think, in Josh, he’s got a really outstanding talent, similar to Jack Wilshere, and it bodes well for us.”

“His brain is always five yards ahead of the rest. I see in him very much as part of the future of this club.”

McEachran’s new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas said: “This is a youngster with so much talent, Physique-wise, there is nothing to him at the moment. In the changing room you see him getting ready to go and train and he looks nothing like a footballer. His power and pace is in his head.” He went on: “But you could say the same about Luka Modric, Jack Wilshere or Samir Nasri. All are built with slight physiques but they are all among the finest midfield players in the world. Josh is going that way. His brain is always five yards ahead of the rest. I see in him very much as part of the future of this club.”

It is clear McEachran has a huge future especially in the current age of the small technically gifted player but he may after leave Stamford Bridge to get more first-team football although most Chelsea fans would hope the youngster will prove to be the long term replacement for Frank Lampard.

Yes…He could be THAT good.

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