Chelsea FC fans tuning in to the FA Cup quarterfinal match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City were delighted to see loanee Josh McEachran feature in midfield for the Latics. McEachran has been on loan at the Greater Manchester club since late January of this year but has already made an impression at the Championship club. His impact was felt almost immediately as he made his debut as a substitute and helped set up forward Marc-Antoine Fortune with a fantastic assist that you can see here for an important equalizer before Wigan went on to win.
Since that initial substitute appearance, McEachran has made two other substitute appearances and two starts in the English League Championship and one in the FA Cup against City. He has yet to play the full ninety minutes for Wigan but he has impressed Wigan boss Uwe Rosler who hailed the loan signing as a major coup for the Latics. Rosler has praised Josh for his contributions in making Wigan a more dangerous side when the ball is played through him but has also questioned the youngster’s physicality. This physicality came in to question against Barnsley in the Championship when he was brought on early but subbed off later in the match because Roslet “felt [he] needed to bring on a little bit more energy and physicality to cope with [Barnley's] approach”.
The Championship is known for being an extremely physical league and it is no secret that McEachran is not a physically imposing player but his vision and skill can help him make up for that. He is also still quite young and with the right training regimen he can become a more physical player. Will he ever become a midfield destroyer a la Patrick Viera? Definitely not, but if he can add a little bit of that aspect to his game he can become a more complete player.
This is where the experience at Wigan comes in to play. Wigan was a Premier League just last year and still features many of the same players who kept them in the top flight for many years. The experience of playing regularly for a side like this, and with a manager who actually rates him, is invaluable for McEachran. Wigan has fifteen matches on its fixture list with more to possibly come if they can beat Arsenal in the FA Cup and also push themselves in to the promotion playoffs so McEachran will have plenty of chances to improve and continue his contribution to the Latics.
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