Birmingham City have taken former Chelsea youngster Josh McEachran on trial, with the midfielder featuring for Blues U23 side yesterday.
The 26-year-old is a free agent after leaving Brentford in the summer after four years at Griffin Park, where he played almost 100 games.
He is going to be assessed by Pep Clotet and the coaching team at St. Andrew’s as they weigh up whether to offer the player a contract.
Here we look at this potential deal for a FLW Six Pointer…
1) Firstly, what is the situation with McEachran?
“As mentioned, he is a free agent after leaving Brentford, which means that a deal can get done outside the transfer window.
“So, there’s no rush for Blues to come to an agreement and you would imagine that they will continue to monitor McEachran in training and for the U23s before coming to a decision.”
2) What type of player would Blues be getting?
“Most will remember the midfielder for coming through at Chelsea. He was regarded as one of the brightest talents to emerge at Stamford Bridge in years due to his technical ability.
“He is very assured on the ball and his game is about retaining possession and finding clever passes. Whilst he hasn’t hit the heights that many expected, he has still had a good career and he has clear quality on the ball which makes him stand out.”
3) Do they need to strengthen in the middle of the park?
“In terms of numbers, they don’t need McEachran as Clotet is extremely well-stocked in that department.
“However, you could argue that he would bring something different to the team. Apart from Ivan Sunjic, Blues lack a real creative midfielder and the Croatian hasn’t settled as well as people may have initially hoped to the Championship.
“The new boss has spoken about changing the style of play at Birmingham and bringing in the former England youth international would help do just that.”
4) Are there any negatives to this?
“On the face of it, this does seem a relatively low-risk move for Blues and one that could pay off significantly if it went to plan.
“However, it should be noted that the midfielder has suffered injuries over the years that have restricted his game time.
“As well as that, if Blues don’t change the way they have played in the opening weeks, then McEachran may not be much use. He would only really thrive in a possession-based side as he doesn’t have the physicality to dominate in other ways.”
5) Is there any rival interest in the player?
“The fact that he is training with Blues right now proves they are in the driving seat but there’s no doubt that other clubs will be monitoring his situation.
“He is a proven Championship player and is available on a free, so there’s going to be some interest.
“In terms of concrete links though, there hasn’t been much since it was reported McEachran was training with Sheffield Wednesday during the summer.”
6) Finally, can you see this happening?
“Without a doubt.
“Even though it’s not an area that Blues desperately need to reinforce, picking up McEachran on a free would be a smart bit of business. More importantly, he has qualities that others in the squad don’t possess.
“It will now be down to the player to impress and if he does enough then you wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement in the next week or two.”