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Sturridge: McEachran can rise to the top

Daniel Sturridge has no doubt fellow Chelsea youngster Josh McEachran will be an England star of the future - if he is allowed to develop at his own pace.

McEachran, 18, made his first-team debut in the Champions League win over Zilina in September - becoming the first player younger than the competition itself to make an appearance - and has not looked back since.

McEachran has played six times in the Premier League and earned rave reviews from England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce after making his full debut against Italy last month.

Sturridge, currently enjoying a successful loan period with Bolton, has seen McEachran's talents at close quarters on many occasions, and he is certain the teenager has what it takes.

"He's a great friend of mine and I can't talk highly enough of him in every aspect," said Sturridge. "But I don't want everyone to put too much pressure on him. He's only 18 and he needs to be given time to grow up and to gain experience.

"He's a fantastic player with unbelievable talent and he's going to be a hugely important player for Chelsea and England in the future.''

McEachran has positioned himself at the head of a pack emerging from the Chelsea youth team.

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