Now, with our bloated midfield the loan of McEachran was inevitable, as his game time was going to be extremely limited if he'd stayed. But loaning him to a Championship side? Was that really the best option Josh could get? Sure he had an unsuccessful loan spell at Swansea last season, but dropping down a league will mean the players he's up against week in week out, aren't of the quality to really test him or help him get better. The flip side of this of course being that with 'Boro he should actually play week in week out, and that playing one league down should 'Toughen him up' (due to the physical nature of the Championship). Something that will help him when he comes back to us (as we hope he does).
All Chelsea fans (especially the British ones), love seeing home grown talent breaking through into the first team. But after initially bursting onto the scene, Josh's form (in the limited games he played) never really progressed. And the more you saw him play, the more you became aware of the areas of his game that needed work. Sure he's got a great eye for a pass and is assured when he's on the ball. But his positional sense is lacking and he gets dispossessed way too easily. Something that is disastrous if he's playing the role of a deep lying midfielder.
But what of it I say? The kid's got bucket loads of talent and he's only 19. So here's hoping Josh returns a man rather than a boy. Because far too few British lads break through from the academy into the Chelsea first team, and Josh is one of the brightest prospects we've had in quite a while.
As for Lukaku, he was probably 6 feet tall and looked like a man when was 12, so that's not the issue! No, the issue with him is his inability to read the game (and make intelligent runs), and the fact that he's got an absolutely shocking first touch.
Now I didn't see him play before he came to Chelsea, but five'll get you ten that he scored goals because he was so much bigger and stronger than kids his own age, rather than because he was a 'great' striker. But in the EPL brute strength can only get you so far, as central defenders are used to playing against that old fashioned 'Built like a brick sh*thouse' type of number 9.
All that being said, Lukaku's a life long Chelsea fan, trained for a year with his idol (Drogba), and has bucket loads of potential. So let's hope he comes back next season bigger (is that even possible?!) and better than before. If anyone can get the best out of him it's Chelsea legend Steve Clarke.
Brian M Logan