It is a case of what might have been for the 22-year-old Englishman, who earlier this summer completed a permanent move to Championship side Brentford after spending over a decade with Chelsea FC, during which – he now reveals – he had an opportunity to sign for Spanish giants Real Madrid
Josh McEachran was arguably the most promising young talent to come out of the Chelsea FC academy since captain John Terry – or so it seemed when he made the breakthrough into the Blues’ first team under Italian Carlo Ancelotti in 2010.
Five years and several unsuccessful loan spells later, McEachran has recognised that his opportunity to establish himself in Jos Mourinho’s first-team squad has probably passed. Having completed the move to Championship promotion hopefuls Brentford, McEachran reveals he had the opportunity to sign for Real Madrid as a teenager.
Real Madrid made McEachran a tempting offer
The 22-year-old midfielder began his Chelsea FC career at the tender age of 7, and has become one of only a handful of players to rise through the ranks and play for the Blues’ first-team. The new Brentford man has revealed he turned down a ‘tempting’ offer from Spanish giants Real Madrid to stay at his boyhood club.
McEachran is quoted by England’s Mail Online as saying: “I was 15 or 16 at the time and Chelsea offered me a very good contract. But Real showed interest in me and were going to fly my family out to Spain.
“And when Real Madrid want to sign you then it is very tempting. But in the end I chose to stay at Chelsea because they were my team and I had been there since such a young age.”
McEachran: I turned down Real Madrid to stay with Chelsea but I’m excited about Brentford http://t.co/l4xY28TCiD
a MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 22, 2015
Although things did not quite work out for him at Chelsea FC, Josh McEachran is still a talented footballer with the majority of his career ahead of him. The Englishman recognises that the time had come for him to part ways with the club he had grown up at: “I think it’s going to be good for me to be away from Chelsea.
“It’s a chance for me to settle at a club and play some games. The Chelsea badge has been taken off me now so there is not as much pressure because they are one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
McEachran’s case a cautionary tale for both Chelsea FC and young players
One of the main reasons McEachran could not prolong his career at Stamford Bridge was the fact that he had several seasons out on loan – including spells at Swansea, Wigan Athletic, Middlesbrough, Watford and Vitesse – that did not quite work out as the club would have hoped.
Part of the reason for those loans was the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti – who first brought McEachran into the first-team – and the subsequent reshuffling of the squad following the Italian’s departure.
Not only is this an ideal example of why stability – particularly at the helm – is important at the club, but it also highlights the potential pitfalls of loaning out players and asking them to prove themselves in environments that might not bring out the best in them.
McEachran’s attitude, however, was not always ideal, and his story is also an example to young players in the sense that they will now be doubly aware of what is required of them to play for a club of the stature of Chelsea FC
The Blues’ have one of their most promising batch of academy youngsters ever, and only time will tell if any of them can make the breakthrough and go far above and beyond what Josh McEachran achieved with the club.