SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Josh Mceachran of Swansea in action during the Barclays Premier League game between Sunderland and Swansea City at Stadium of Light on January 21, 2012 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
If you've been following Josh McEachran's progress with Swansea City, you'll know that calling it 'progress' is probably something of an overstatement. Expectations were high when the 18-year-old headed over to the Liberty Stadium, but Swansea's acquisition of Gylfi Sigurdsson from TSG Hoffenheim at the end of January has seen McEachran relegated to the role of fourth-choice midfielder, and that means he hasn't gotten to play much (and he hasn't been that impressive even when he's featured).
Does that mean that the loan move has been a failure? Not according to Brendan Rodgers!
The loan move was more than just games for Josh. It was also about experiencing a new team, city and lifestyle. He was 18 when he came and it's been great for his development. He admitted he was behind with his conditioning. He has fitted in quite easily and he respects how well the other players have been doing so it's been very difficult.
The balance in the midfield has been very good. Every player wants game-time but that can't happen for everyone. But when he returns to Chelsea he will be better for his experience here. It doesn't matter whether it is games or lifestyle, he will be a better player and person for that.
-Source: The Sun.
Take those quotes under the standard Sun-size grain of salt*, since it's entirely possible that they've been fabricated, but assuming they're real I'm feeling kind of cranky at Rodgers all of a sudden. While it's true that the time spent in Swansea has probably made McEachran grow as a person, that's not really the goal here. Josh will be growing as a person simply by virtue of being an 18-year-old. The point of the loan was to help him grow as a football player.
*An actual sun-sized grain of salt would have 3.13x10^55 sodium atoms**, which is something y'all totally need to know.
**Or: Slightly fewer sodium atoms than Apple has US Dollars.
Have we accomplished that goal, Swansea? Have we [fun]. 215 minutes of football is barely half an hour more than what Josh did at Chelsea for the first half of the season (i.e. basically nothing). Not that I'm blaming the Swans - Josh is not yet good enough to break though into a midfield of Leon Britton, Joe Allen and Sigurdsson - it's just really frustrating that a promising-looking loan has turned out so badly, and hearing Rodgers talk about it like it's fine is incredibly irritating. It's not a wasted year for McEachran or anything, so I don't want to sound too cranky about it, but bah! Bah!