Kenneth Omeruo became the 31st player that Chelsea have sent out on loan this season when he joined Leganes this week.
Much is made of the Premier League club’s extensive loanee list. In 2015, Patrick Bamford revealed that a WhatsApp group had been created for those on temporary spells away from Stamford Bridge.
“The loan department set it up. Sometimes it drains your battery when everyone is messaging each other,” Bamford, who left Chelsea permanently in 2017, said.
“If someone does something special at the weekend, one of the computer technology guys from the loan department will send it all out after the weekend.”
It can’t be easy for many of the players that Chelsea loan out. They will be fully aware that they will never play in the first team, with no knowledge of where their future lies.
And Josh McEachran has detailed what life is like for those that Chelsea don’t have major plans for.
McEachran joined Chelsea’s academy at the age of eight and rose through the ranks, eventually making his first-team debut against Zilina in the Champions League in 2010 at the age of 17.
McEachran’s tale of a loanee
Things were going well for the midfielder. He made 17 appearances under Carlo Ancelotti in the 2010-11 season and signed a five-year contract that would see him earn £2 million a season.
But then the loans started – and they didn’t stop.
McEachran had spells at Swansea City, Middlesbrough, Watford, Wigan Athletic and Vitesse across three-and-a-half-seasons.
The 25-year-old, who joined Brentford on a permanent deal in 2015, has now shared a pretty sad story of what happened to him at the start of one pre-season under Jose Mourinho.
“When you go back at Chelsea, it’s the first team, the reserves and then there’s this loan group. If you get put in this loan group, you’re just waiting to go out really,” McEachran told BBC 5 Live Sport, where he was speaking to Jermaine Jenas.
Jenas was stunned by what McEachran had to say, describing it as “mad”.
“A loan group?!” Jenas wondered.
McEachran continued: “It was when Mourinho was there. I walked in thinking, ‘yeah I’m going to have a pre-season with the first team.’
“I went to walk into the first team dressing room and someone said, I think it was one of the kit men said, ‘Josh, sorry mate but haven’t you heard?’
“I was like, ‘no, what’s going on?’
“He said, ‘oh, you’re down the corridor in the loan group.’
“I was like, ‘oh, wow. Cheers.’
“I took a pay cut to go to Brentford just to get my career back on track. To go to the Championship, to enjoy myself again really.”
Such treatment can’t be good for a player’s treatment. It’s no wonder McEachran felt that he had to leave.