‘’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."
Those were the words of former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins upon seeing youngster Josh McEachran playing for the first time as a 15-year-old.
The 20-year-old midfielder’s comparison to legendary Ireland and Arsenal player Brady is, in many ways, apt.
Technically gifted with an eye for a pass other comparisons have included Andrea Pirlo and even Andres Iniesta - that is the type of player we are dealing with here.
McEachran is perhaps unfortunate to have been born in the wrong country. In Spain, Italy or France his talents would have been heralded - and there would certainly not been fears over his size.
Last season he spent the entire campaign on loan at Championship club Middlesbrough - and despite not scoring a goal and tailing off in form in a relentless campaign - he, generally, impressed at the Riverside.
This season it looks as if the player is again going to be shipped out on loan and the question I ask is whether he should now consider cutting his losses and leaving the club permanently.
The club has continued bringing in more players who play in a similar position and style to the England Under-21 lad and surely the thought is now crossing the Oxfordshire lads mind - ‘will I ever get into this team?’
The answer, in a cruel, blunt and harsh world, is no.
But it does not mean the end of his Premier League career.
Teams are constantly changing their footballing philosophies at the moment with many clubs looking for that player who can do something a little different - players like McEachran.
Do you think McEachran should leave Chelsea this summer?
image: © Jason Bagley