Date: 15th July 2011 at 3:14pm
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Chelsea duo Josh McEachran and Ryan Bertrand have signed new long-term deals at the Stamford Bridge, with Josh penning a five-year contract and Bertrand a four-year deal.

The news will be well received by the Chelsea faithful as both youngsters are tipped for a bright future, particularly 18-year-old McEachran, who won Chelsea’s young player of the year award for last season. As for Bertrand, 22, many believe that he could be Ashley Cole’s long-term successor. Both players made their first-team debuts last season.

McEachran told the club’s official website:

“It is good to be offered this sort of contract. Hopefully I will spend my career at Chelsea.

“I have wanted to do that since I was a kid, since I joined when I was eight years old. It will be good if I do but I need to keep working.

“This season my target is just to play more minutes. Hopefully I will play more games and keep improving.”

Bertrand also spoke of his delight to have signed a long-term deal:

“It’s a big commitment, I see the club going in the right direction.

“I want to stay here, it’s the reason I came here six years ago and it’s refreshing to have the new manager come in. I’m looking forward to listening and learning from him.

“I can see the manager is young and hungry and wants to take the club forward so I want to be part of that and I thought it was best for me to stay.

“Obviously Ashley (Cole) is number one left-back but hopefully I can get a game here and there.

“I hope to stay here this season and hopefully catch the manager’s eye.”

With Andre Villas-Boas now at the club, hopefully we have an able manager to nurture our young stars and give them more chances than his predecessors have done. I don’t think anyone expects either to walk straight into the first team, but McEachran, for instance, hasn’t looked out of place when he has appeared in the Chelsea first-team and has shown a maturity beyond his years, which leads me to believe that he should be given more opportunities next season, especially as Michael Essien is out with a long injury layoff.