With Frank Lampard promoting Chelsea’s youth players at a rate the club hasn’t seen since former manager Ted Drake’s promotion of seven youth products in the 1956-57 season, every youngster at the club is dreaming of a place in the first team squad, and George McEachran is no different.
The 19-year old has been on loan at Dutch Second Division side SC Cambuur since January, with the club pushing for a return to the Eredivisie after their relegation from the Dutch top division in 2016.
Speaking to Chelsea TV before the season was suspended, McEachran explained his desire to get some valuable first team experience abroad and how a move outside his South West London comfort zone has been for him.
George McEachran's life abroad and first team opportunities
“The reason I wanted to go on loan was to get some experience in the environment of first team football,” said McEachran. “Over here the training is different. They’re bigger, stronger, wiser about the game. The demands in training are massive and everyone is willing to get a place in the starting XI so they train how they play every single day.”
Chelsea’s loan player technical coach Tore Andre Flo knows McEachran well from his time coaching the 19 year-old in the Blues’ U14s squad and the Norwegian voiced his thoughts on the young midfielder.
“George is a very good technical midfielder with a great left foot. I enjoy working with young players like him and obviously there are more great talents here at the club,” Flo said. “Chelsea want players to go out, get experience and hopefully one day come back to the first team.”
McEachran revealed some advice Chelsea gave him, and it is the sort of advice that any young player should take.
“My advice from Chelsea is to always be ready. You never know when your chance is going to come.”
Youth level success
McEachran’s spells with the Chelsea and England youth teams have been successful ones, as he helped his country win the U17 World Cup in India in 2017, where they beat Spain 5-2 in the final. He followed that with another positive season, this time for his club, featuring prominently for the Under-18s as they won an unprecedented four trophies in 2017/18.
The midfielder signed his first professional contract with Chelsea on his 17th birthday, committing himself to the club until the summer of 2019, before extending his deal that year to stay at his boyhood club until 2022.
Fast forward to the 2019/20 season and prior to going out on loan, McEachran made 21 appearances for Chelsea’s Academy teams, scoring once in a 1-1 draw in a UEFA Youth League group stage clash against Ajax at Cobham, while also getting an assist in the reverse fixture in his side’s 1-0 victory in Amsterdam.
With all football activity grinding to a halt, McEachran will no doubt want to keep up his good form in Holland if the season eventually resumes. If the midfielder’s impressive performances for the Chelsea Academy sides and the generous words of former Blues striker Flo are anything to go by, he will find himself at the very top level in no time at all.