McEachran playing for Middlesbrough during the 2012–13 season
|Full name||Joshua Mark McEachran|
|Date of birth||1 March 1993|
|Place of birth||Oxford, England|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Current club||Wigan Athletic
(on loan from Chelsea)
|2012||→ Swansea City (loan)||4||(0)|
|2012–2013||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||38||(0)|
|2013–2014||→ Watford (loan)||7||(0)|
|2014–||→ Wigan Athletic (loan)||3||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:49, 28 February 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
McEachran was born in Kirtlington, Oxfordshire to Scottish parents. He grew up in the village of Kirtlington with his sister Danielle and younger brothers Zach, Will and George. He began playing football for Garden City F.C. in the Oxford Mail Boys League, where he was spotted by a Chelsea scout. He then joined the Blues as an academy player at the age of 7 and rose through the ranks while juggling his academic responsibilities at Marlborough School in Woodstock.
McEachran made his competitive first team debut for Chelsea against MŠK Žilina on 15 September 2010 as a substitute. He became the first player to be born after the UEFA Champions League started on 25 November 1992 to take part in the competition. McEachran made his home debut in a League Cup tie against Newcastle United, where he again came on as a substitute.
He made his Premier League debut on 25 September in a 1–0 defeat to Manchester City. On 23 November 2010 manager Carlo Ancelotti announced that McEachran would make his first start against MŠK Žilina, which he did. He followed this up by playing the entire game away to Marseille in a UEFA Champions League group game. McEachran started for Chelsea against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on 15 May 2011, a 2–2 draw at home to Newcastle and in total, he made nine starts and 13 sub appearances in campaign with then manager Carlo Ancelotti preferring to use him in a deep midfield role. His inclusion in the line-up was viewed by pundits as a suggestion that the Chelsea administration are keen to retain McEachran and that they recognise the importance of younger players in an otherwise ageing team. In his debut season in the Chelsea first team, McEachran was awarded the Chelsea Young Player of The Year award on 19 May 2011.
On 15 July 2011, he signed a new five-year deal, alongside team-mate Ryan Bertrand who signed a four-year deal with Chelsea. Fifteen days later, he scored his first Chelsea senior team goal against Aston Villa with a first minute tap-in to open the scoring. Chelsea went on to win the game 2–0 and won the Barclays Asia Trophy. On 12 August 2011, Chelsea announced he would wear the number 20 shirt, last worn by Deco, for the 2011–12 season. He requested a loan transfer to Wigan Athletic but Chelsea turned down his request, with Chelsea citing him in their first team plans. He started the League Cup match against Fulham which Chelsea won 4–3 on penalties. McEachran made his first Premier League appearance of the season when he came on as an 82nd-minute substitute in Chelsea's 4–1 win over Swansea. On 26 October 2011 he started the League Cup match against Everton and won a penalty for Chelsea in a 2–1 win.
Loan to Swansea City
On 17 January 2012, McEachran completed a loan move to Swansea City. On finalising the deal he told Blues News that he was looking forward to working under former Chelsea reserves coach and Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers. 'I want to get game time to be honest, and it will be good playing for Brendan. Swansea play really good football and I'm looking forward to it.' McEachran was given the number 17 jersey. McEachran made his debut for Swansea City against Sunderland coming off the bench in the 66th minute for Gylfi Sigurðsson, the match ended 2–0 loss for Swansea City. McEachran made his first start for Swansea in a FA Cup match against Bolton Wanderers which ended in a 1–2 defeat.
Loan to Middlesbrough
On 20 August 2012, McEachran completed a loan move to Championship club Middlesbrough on a season long loan. After his move to Middlesbrough, McEachran says he joined the club in order first team opportunities and fight his place under manager Roberto Di Matteo. He made his debut appearance for Middlesbrough the next day, in a 3–2 victory against Burnley. He became regular for Boro, creating a strong midfield partnership with Grant Leadbitter.
Loan to Watford
On 20 September 2013, McEachran joined Watford on loan until 2 January 2014. On 24 September, he made his League Cup debut for Watford against Norwich City in a 3-2 loss. But his Watford debut was cut short in the 39th minute due to an injury which caused him to be subbed for Connor Smith. McEachran made his full league debut in Watford's away 2-1 win against Huddersfield Town on 5 October 2013.
However, his loan at Watford was not renewed and he returned to his parent club in January 2014.
Loan to Wigan Athletic
On 23 January 2014, McEachran joined Wigan Athletic on loan for the remainder of the 2013–14 season. McEachran made his debut as a substitute in Wigan's 2-1 home win over Charlton Athletic on 1 February 2014. Wigan trailed for 85 minutes before McEachran set up fellow substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune for the equaliser with an exquisite pass.
McEachran represented and captained England at U-16 level and played a key role in the England U17 side to win the 2010 European Under-17 Football Championship. He quickly progressed through the ranks and has since and has gone on to become a regular in the England U19 side and was further rewarded for his good early season form with Chelsea's first team by making his debut for England U21 against Germany on 16 November 2010 at the age of 17. McEachran had become a full England U21 international at 18 years of age.
Because of his Scottish parentage, McEachran is eligible to represent Scotland. The Scottish Football Association approached McEachran in February 2012, but he stated his preference to play for England.
In April 2012, it was announced he was part of the 80-man shortlist for the Great Britain football team in the London Olympics, 2012.
Style of play
McEachran's best attributes are his ability of unlocking defenses with his close control on the ball, vision and composure. McEachran has said he idolised Zinedine Zidane growing up by saying "With Zidane it was everything about him, his goals, his touches. He was the complete all-round midfielder." When Zidane retired he looked up to Andrés Iniesta.
Former Chelsea player and former Chelsea assistant manager 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, the England national football team under-21 manager, praised McEachran after a friendly against Italy. "Chelsea think extremely highly of him and you can see why," said Pearce. "He’s got ability and vision. "All of our cutting passes probably came from him. Henri Lansbury has got the insight to play those passes but I think, in Josh, he’s got an outstanding talent, similar to Jack Wilshere, and it bodes well for us."
Under the management of Carlo Ancelotti, McEachran was deployed mainly as a defensive midfielder in his appearances for the first team, usually replacing Michael Essien or John Obi Mikel, although his preferred position is as a centre or attacking midfielder. However, under the new Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas he was given a more advanced attacking role. Villas-Boas commented on McEachran saying "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."
Former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers commented on the signing of McEachran on loan for the rest of the 2011–12 season saying: "He's a wonderful technician with the ball, with great vision. He is an immense talent, which he will demonstrate over the next number of years." Also that: "His talent is all there to see, it's pure natural ability."
- As of 3 February 2014.
|Club Performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||Premier League||FA Cup1||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Swansea City (loan)||2011–12||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0||0|
|Swansea City total||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0||0|
|England||Championship||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|England||Championship||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|England||Championship||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Wigan Athletic (loan)||2013–14||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1|
|Wigan Athletic total||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1|
- 1Also includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield.
- Chelsea Young Player of the Year (1): 2011
- Oxfordshire Sport Award: Sport Man of the Year 2010
- Middlesbrough Supporters Young Player of the Year (1): 2013
- "Player Profile: Josh McEachran". Premier League. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- Hannah, Roger (5 October 2010). "Levein eyes Chelsea kid". The Scottish Sun. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- Knox, Mike (17 September 2010). "Josh is Champions League record-breaker". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Fleming, Mark (22 September 2010). "McEachran to star as standard bearer for Chelsea's young lions". London: The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- Sanghera, Mandeep (15 September 2010). "MSK Zilina 1 – 4 Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- Bevan, Chris (15 September 2010). "Wednesday football as it happened". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- Ballard, Ed (25 September 2010). "Manchester City v Chelsea: live". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- "Chelsea 2–2 Newcastle". BBC News. 15 May 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- "Cech wins the big one". Chelsea F.C. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- "McEachran and Bertrand Sign Long-Term Deals". Chelsea F.C. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "Squad Numbers Announced". chelseafc.com. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
- "Chelsea reject Wigan approach for McEachran loan". tribalfootball.com. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- "Chelsea win on penalties". Chelseafc.com. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Chelsea 4 v 1 Swansea City". Chelseafc.com. 24 September 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Everton 1 v 2 Chelsea". Chelseafc.com. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "LOAN MOVES FOR TWO YOUNGSTERS". Chelseafc.com. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "CHELSEA TV EXCLUSIVE: MCEACHRAN SWANS OFF". Chelseafc.com. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- "Sunderland v Swansea City". ESPN. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Boro Swoop for Josh". MFC. MFC. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "MCEACHRAN LOAN TO MIDDLESBROUGH". chelseafc.com. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "McEachran looking for loan move to kick-start Chelsea career". Goal.com. 19 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Josh McEachran delighted by Middlesbrough style". BBC Sport (BBC). 22 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Grant Leadbitter named fans' Player of the Year - VIDEO + GALLERY". Gazette Live. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "McEachran loaned to Hornets". chelseafc.com. 20 September 2013.
- "MATCH REPORT: Terriers 1-2 Hornets". watfordfc.com. 5 October 2013.
- "Latics Sign Josh McEachran". Wigan Athletic FC. 23 January 2014.
- Murray, Ewan (28 February 2012). "Craig Levein ignores English accents in bid for World Cup glory". The Guardian (London).
- "Sunday's Scottish gossip". BBC Sport (BBC). 26 February 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012. "Mark Wotte has had a chat with Josh McEachran, Chelsea's English-born midfielder with Scottish parents, but the Scottish Football Association performance director has not sensed any desire for the player to switch allegiance from England. (Sunday Times)"
- "England coast to victory". TheFA.com. (The Football Association). 25 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- "Chelsea starlet McEachran: Zidane my idol growing up". Tribal Football. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- "Mceachran is the 'new Liam Brady'". Give Me Football. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "Chelsea kid has 'Shere class – Pearce". Mirror Football. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- "Villas-Boas believes McEachran is the future". Goal.com. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- "Rodgers expects Josh to shine". London: The Sun. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- Thomas, Holly (25 August 2011). "Someone's scored! Corrie star Brooke Vincent watches boyfriend Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran in action". dailymail.co.uk (London). Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Joshua McEachran – Statistics". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 14 November 2010.