Butch revels in McEachran’s rise

The 17-year-old McEachran, a product of the Blues’ youth system,

only made his competitive debut for the club last month when he was

a substitute in the 4-1 Champions League win away to Slovakian side

Zilina. But Wilkins believes the rookie, who has made three Premier

League appearances since, has already shown enough to convince the

Chelsea fans he is a player for the future. “It is lovely for

everyone when a home-grown guy comes through,” Wilkins said. “That

has been the case with all the young lads who have come on this

season and last season. The crowds have taken to them straight

away. “There seems to be an affiliation with the supporter that is

lovely to watch.” It has been a breakthrough year for the

Oxford-born teenager who also helped England Under-17s win the

European Championship before earning an Under-19 call-up. And

Wilkins has been impressed at how McEachran has taken it in his

stride, after himself treading the same path at Stamford Bridge

before making his Blues debut almost 37 years ago. “It is an

exciting time, coming on to make your debut,” Wilkins added on the

club’s official website. “It is not the right word to say I

sympathise with Josh but I can remember that nervous situation you

go through when you come on. “I get thrilled for him and thankfully

he does not appear to show too many nerves.” Star midfielder Frank

Lampard’s recovery from injury has afforded McEachran his chance in

the first team, although he is likely to continue his Premier

League education from the substitutes’ bench at Blackburn this

weekend. The Blues were beaten 1-0 on their previous trip to the

north west last month, when Manchester City inflicted their only

defeat of the league campaign so far. While they have recovered

with tough 2-0 home wins over Arsenal and Wolves, to sandwich an

away draw at Villa, the early goals that saw them race clear at the

start of the season have dried up. The Blues have managed just four

in their past four Premier League games and Carlo Ancelotti’s side

will expect a tough trip to Ewood Park after they were held to a

1-1 draw by Rovers last season.