Josh McEachran

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Josh McEachran
McEachran Boro.jpg
McEachran playing for Middlesbrough in 2012
Personal information
Full name Joshua Mark McEachran[1]
Date of birth (1993-03-01) 1 March 1993 (age 22)
Place of birth Oxford, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Brentford
Youth career
2001–2010 Chelsea
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2015 Chelsea 11 (0)
2012 Swansea City (loan) 4 (0)
2012–2013 Middlesbrough (loan) 38 (0)
2013–2014 Watford (loan) 7 (0)
2014 Wigan Athletic (loan) 8 (0)
2014–2015 Vitesse (loan) 19 (0)
2015– Brentford 0 (0)
National team
2007–2009 England U16 5 (0)
2009–2010 England U17 12 (1)
2010–2011 England U19 6 (1)
2014 England U20 2 (0)
2010–2013 England U21 13 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:51, 31 May 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:03, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Joshua Mark "Josh" McEachran (born 1 March 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays for Brentford as a midfielder. He is a product of the Chelsea academy and won 38 caps for England at age-group level.

Club career[edit]

Chelsea[edit]

Reserves and youth[edit]

A midfielder, McEachran began playing football for Garden City in the Oxford Mail Boys League, where he was spotted by a Chelsea scout.[3] He then joined the Blues' academy at the age of 7 and rose through the ranks while juggling his academic responsibilities at Marlborough School in Woodstock.[4] He signed a two-year scholarship deal prior to the beginning of the 2009–10 season and helped the Blues' youth team win the FA Youth Cup for the first time in 50 years.[5][6] The youth team's feats saw the entire squad collectively win Chelsea's Young Player of the Year award.[7] He also broke into the reserve team, making 9 Premier Reserve League appearances.[6] McEachran made 10 Premier Reserve League appearances during the 2010–11 season, helping the team to first place in the Premier Reserve League South, though he did not feature in the knockout stage, which Chelsea won, to win the league outright. He made sporadic appearances for the reserves during the 2011–12 and 2013–14 seasons, notably scoring three goals in his final two reserve appearances in August and September 2013.[8][9]

First team[edit]

McEachran received his first exposure to the first team during the 2009–10 season, travelling with the squad to a League Cup fifth round match versus Blackburn Rovers in December 2009 and beginning to train with the first team throughout the first half of 2010.[10] McEachran was named in Chelsea's Champions League squad for the 2010–11 season and received his maiden call when he was named as a substitute for a Champions League group stage match versus MŠK Žilina on 15 September 2010.[11][12] Awarded the number 46 shirt, he made his senior debut when he replaced Yossi Benayoun after 79 minutes of the 4–1 victory.[13] He became the first player to be born after the Champions League began on 25 November 1992 to take part in the competition.[13][14] McEachran made his Premier League debut on 25 September in a 1–0 defeat to Manchester City, replacing Ramires after 81 minutes.[15] McEachran made his first Chelsea start in the return Champions League match versus MŠK Žilina on 23 November and also started the Blues' dead rubber group stage match versus Marseille on 8 December, completing his first 90 minutes for the club.[12] With manager Carlo Ancelotti preferring to use utilise in a deep midfield role,[6] McEachran went on to make 17 appearances in his debut season.[16] In recognition of his performances, McEachran was awarded the Chelsea Young Player of The Year award on 19 May 2011.[7] McEachran's regular inclusion in the squad was viewed by pundits as a suggestion that the Chelsea administration recognised the importance of younger players in an otherwise ageing team.[17]

On 15 July 2011, McEachran signed a new five-year deal and scored his first goal for the club in the friendly 2011 Premier League Asia Trophy final versus Aston Villa two weeks later.[18][19] Now wearing the number 20 shirt (vacated by Deco),[20] McEachran began the 2011–12 season as a substitute, finally making his first appearance of the season with a start in a League Cup third round match versus Fulham on 21 September, playing the opening 51 minutes of the shootout win.[21] He also started in the following round versus Liverpool, but lasted just 40 minutes of the eventual 2–0 defeat before suffering an ankle injury.[22] After returning to fitness, he made one more appearance from the bench (as a late replacement for Juan Mata in a 2–1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on 2 January 2012) before departing on loan for the rest of the season on 17 January.[22] McEachran made just five appearances during the 2011–12 season and was largely out of favour with Ancelotti's replacement as manager, André Villas-Boas.[23]

McEachran spent much of his subsequent Chelsea career away on loan and failed to receive a first team call up under managers Roberto Di Matteo, Rafael Benítez or José Mourinho during the 2012–13, 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons.[24][25][26] He departed Chelsea on 10 July 2015, having made 22 appearances and scored no goals during five seasons as a senior player at Stamford Bridge.[27]

Swansea City (loan)[edit]

On 17 January 2012, McEachran completed a loan move to Premier League side Swansea City until the end of the 2011–12 season, reuniting with Brendan Rodgers, his former Chelsea youth and reserve team manager.[22] McEachran was given the number 17 shirt and made his debut in a 2–0 defeat to Sunderland on 21 January, coming off the bench in the 66th minute for Gylfi Sigurðsson.[28] McEachran made his first start for the Swans in a FA Cup fourth round match against Bolton Wanderers, playing the full 90 minutes of the 2–1 defeat.[21] After dropping back to the bench, he finished his spell with just five appearances.[23] Looking back in January 2013, McEachran revealed that the move was "was one of those things in life which just didn't work out" and that he learned "nothing" during his spell.[29]

Middlesbrough (loan)[edit]

On 20 August 2012, McEachran signed for Championship club Middlesbrough for the entirety of the 2012–13 season.[30] He made his debut for Middlesbrough the next day, playing the full 90 minutes of a 3–2 victory over Burnley.[31] He became regular for Boro, creating a strong midfield partnership with Grant Leadbitter and also playing on the left of midfield,[6] though an ankle injury picked up on international duty hampered his progress in the second half of the season.[32] He made 38 appearances during a season in which Middlesbrough challenged for a playoff place,[33] but drifted well out of contention.[32] McEachran was voted by the Boro supporters as the club's Young Player of the Year.[34]

Watford (loan)[edit]

On 20 September 2013, McEachran joined Championship side Watford on loan until 2 January 2014, with an option to extend the loan until the end of the 2013–14 season.[35] His debut came four days later with a start in the League Cup third round versus Norwich City,[36] though he was substituted for Connor Smith on 38 minutes after suffering a back spasm.[37] McEachran made just eight appearances for Watford before returning to Stamford Bridge when his initial loan expired.[36][38]

Wigan Athletic (loan)[edit]

On 23 January 2014, McEachran signed for Championship club Wigan Athletic on loan for the remainder of the 2013–14 season.[39] The Manchester Evening News reported that he had taken a wage cut to go to the DW Stadium and manager Uwe Rösler commented that McEachran was "not at his best, so we have to make sure he recovers form, he recovers confidence and he is capable of performing consistently at a high tempo in the modern way of football".[40] McEachran began his spell with regular substitute appearances and after building up his fitness he made something of a breakthrough into the starting lineup,[41] making seven starts from late February through to the end of the season.[25] He started in the Latics' FA Cup quarter-final and semi-final matches versus Manchester City and Arsenal respectively,[25] though his first Wembley appearance in the latter match ended in heartbreak after a shootout defeat.[42] After a fifth-place finish in the Championship saw the Latics qualify for the playoffs, he was bizarrely left out of the squad for both legs of the semi-finals versus Queens Park Rangers, which resulted in a 2–1 aggregate defeat.[43][44] McEachran finished his spell with 11 appearances.[36]

Vitesse (loan)[edit]

On 17 August 2014, it was announced that McEachran was sent on loan to Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse until the end of the 2014–15 season.[45] One week later, McEachran made his debut, coming off the bench in the 74th minute for Marko Vejinović during a 2–1 defeat to PEC Zwolle.[46] On 23 September, McEachran made his first start for Vitesse in a KNVB Cup second round match against VVSB, which resulted in a 2–1 victory for Vitesse.[47] Either side of an ankle injury suffered in October,[48] McEachran made sporadic appearances and spent time in the reserves, before breaking into the starting lineup in April 2015.[26] Suspensions to Marko Vejinović and Davy Pröpper opened up a spot in midfield and McEachran made eight starts through to the end of the season.[49] Four of those starts came in the Eredivisie European competition playoffs, with McEachran helping Vitesse to see off PEC Zwolle and Heerenveen to qualify for a place in the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.[50] McEachran finished the campaign with 21 appearances.[50]

Brentford[edit]

On 10 July 2015, McEachran signed for Championship side Brentford on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee,[51] reported to be £750000.[52] On 25 July, it was announced that McEachran would be out for three months after breaking his foot in training.[53]

International career[edit]

U16[edit]

McEachran made his debut for the England U16 team aged just 14,[54] with a start in a 2–2 2007 Victory Shield draw with Northern Ireland on 11 October 2007.[55] He went on to become captain of the team also appeared in the 2008 Victory Shield, but he missed the final two games of the tournament through injury.[56][57] In total he won five caps for the team,[54] the last coming in a 3–1 victory over Russia in the opening match of the 2009 Montaigu Tournament.[58]

U17[edit]

McEachran received his first call into the U17 squad for the final 2009 European U17 Championship elite qualification match versus Hungary on 30 March 2009,[59] starting in a 2–0 victory which saw England qualify for the finals.[60] After failing to make the cut for the tournament finals, McEachran was a regular in qualification for the 2010 European U17 Championship and was included in the squad for the finals in Liechtenstein.[61] He scored in the opening group match against the Czech Republic and helped the team through to the final and won his 12th and final cap in the final showdown with Spain, which England came from behind to win 2–1.[62] McEachran was named in the Technical Team of the Tournament.[63]

U19[edit]

Fresh off the back of his success in the 2010 European U17 Championship, McEachran made his debut for the England U19 team at the age of 17 in a 2-0 friendly victory over Slovakia on 2 September 2010.[64] He scored his first goal for the team in the following match, England's 6–1 rout of Albania in their opening 2011 European U19 Championship qualifier.[64] He won a further four caps before his U19 career was cut short after England missed out on qualifying for the tournament finals.[64]

U20[edit]

McEachran was called into the England U20 squad for the 2014 Toulon Tournament and made two appearances as England finished the tournament in fourth-place.[64][65]

U21[edit]

While still a regular for the U17s, McEachran won his first cap for the England U21 team in a 2–0 friendly defeat to Germany on 16 November 2010, coming off the bench to replace Nathan Delfouneso.[66] He made his first competitive appearance for the team in England's opening 2013 European U21 Championship qualifier versus Iceland on 6 October 2011,[66] replacing Martyn Waghorn after 63 minutes, who had in turn replaced Nathan Delfouneso during the first half.[67] He was a regular in the team through the qualification period and scored his only U21 goal with a penalty in a 4–0 friendly thrashing of Austria on 25 March 2013.[68] McEachran was called into the U21 squad for the 2013 European U21 Championship finals, but made only two appearances before England crashed out in the group stage.[66]

Full[edit]

Because of his Scottish parentage, McEachran is eligible to represent Scotland.[69] In August 2011, it was reported that then-England manager Fabio Capello was keeping tabs on McEachran's progress, though as of July 2015, McEachran has not been named in a full England squad.[70] The Scottish Football Association approached McEachran in February 2012, but he stated his preference was to play for England.[71] In April 2012, McEachran was named in the 80-man shortlist for the Great Britain football team to play in the 2012 Olympic Games,[72] but he was not named in the final squad.[73]

Style of play[edit]

McEachran in October 2010, receiving advice from former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins

A central midfielder, McEachran idolised Zinedine Zidane growing up, saying "it was everything about him, his goals, his touches. He was the complete all-round midfielder".[74] When Zidane retired in 2006, McEachran looked up to Andrés Iniesta.[74] Ray Wilkins and Stuart Pearce have commended on McEachran's incisive passing,[75][76] while André Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers have lauded his vision on the pitch and technical abilities, comparing him to Luka Modric, Jack Wilshere and Samir Nasri.[77][78] Peter Bosz commented in 2015 that McEachran "needs to improve his defensive play" and "will certainly be a player at a good level".[49]

Personal life[edit]

McEachran was born in Kirtlington, Oxfordshire to Scottish parents.[79] He has a sister Danielle and younger brothers Zach, Billy and George.[80][81] Either side of a temporary breakup in mid-2014, McEachran dated Coronation Street star Brooke Vincent (who plays Sophie Webster) from May 2011 to April 2015.[82][83][84]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 31 May 2015.[27]
Club statistics
Season Club League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Chelsea 2010–11[16] Premier League 9 0 1 0 1 0 6[a] 0 0 0 17 0
2011–12[23] 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 5 0
Total 11 0 1 0 4 0 6 0 0 0 22 0
Swansea City (loan) 2011–12[23] Premier League 4 0 1 0 5 0
Middlesbrough (loan) 2012–13[33] Championship 38 0 0 0 0 0 38 0
Watford (loan) 2013–14[36] 7 0 1 0 8 0
Wigan Athletic (loan) 2013–14[36] 8 0 3 0 0 0 11 0
Vitesse (loan) 2014–15[50] Eredivisie 15 0 2 0 4[b] 0 21 0
Brentford 2015–16[85] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 87 0 7 0 5 0 6 0 0 0 105 0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Chelsea

International[edit]

England U16
England U-17

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]