Josh McEachran expected to join Vitesse Arnhem this weekend

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Josh McEachran is close to leaving Chelsea on another loan deal, with reports suggesting that he is now very close to finalising a move to Eredivisie outfit Vitesse Arnhem.

According to Friday's reports from The Daily Mail, central midfielder McEachran has been in the Netherlands for talks and looks to have all but agreed to make the switch to the GelreDome for the entire 2014/15 campaign.

The same source further reports that McEachran is expected to complete his transfer this weekend and is free to leave Stamford Bridge with competition for places in Jose Mourinho's midfield now arguably fiercer than ever.

Midfield competition

Although last month's departure of the iconic Frank Lampard following the end of his Chelsea contract appeared to open up a new space in Mourinho's first-team squad, the subsequent purchase of former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona will easily compensate for that particular loss.

With January signing Nemanja Matic, Oscar, Brazilian international Ramies, John Obi Mikel and Marco van Ginkel all available to partner Spaniard Fabregas, it was always incredibly unlikely that McEachran was ever going to be given an additional opportunity to make an impact in the Premier League this season.

Just a few short years ago, it appeared as if McEachran was set to be one of the preciously few Chelsea youth team graduates with the ability to carve out a long-term future in the first-team squad.

Loan spells

Having made nine senior top-flight appearances for the club during the 2010/11 campaign, the 21-year-old gradually found regular opportunities more difficult to come by, however, and was eventually loaned to Swansea City in January 2012.

He failed to make much of an impact at the Liberty Stadium and a temporary switch to Middlesbrough followed just a few months later. McEachran seemed to enjoy the Championship and made 38 appearances for the club under the management of Tony Mowbray.

McEachran - a regular for England at youth level - spent time back in the Championship with Watford and Wigan last season, yet made fewer than 20 league appearances for the two clubs combined.

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Vitesse link

While his chances of breaking back into Chelsea's first-team plans have to be considered extremely remote at this stage, McEachran remains young enough to prove that he does have what it takes to succeed somewhere in the Premier League.

Chelsea obviously foster a very strong working relationship with Vitesse and have previously sent the likes of Patrick van Aanholt - who joined Sunderland on a full-time basis last month - and Lucas Piazon to gain first-team experience at the highest level of Dutch football.

Chelsea fans, what do you make of McEachran? Do you still think he has a chance to succeed under Mourinho or will such a loan spell merely be putting him in the shop window for a permanent switch elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box provided below.

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Josh McEachran
Premier League

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