Aston Villa are interested in signing Chelsea prospect Ethan Ampadu this summer, according to The Guardian.
As Villa search for players who can directly improve the starting eleven at the club, manager Dean Smith must also be on the hunt for players who can bolster the squad-at-large and provide the depth needed for what could be a long and gruelling Premier League campaign.
One player on the club’s radar, say The Guardian, is 18-year-old Ethan Ampadu.
The paper reckon Chelsea are currently weighing up whether his development is best served with a loan away from Stamford Bridge and the Villans are interested.
The teenager hasn’t had many starts at the Blues and needs more regular action if he is to fulfil his stellar potential.
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Despite his age and limited experience, Ampadu has already demonstrated he has the composure and ability needed to compete at the top level.
He made starts in the FA Cup and UEFA Europa League for Chelsea last term and has now won eight caps for Wales too.
His ball-playing ability and physical presence means he can play both as a centre-back or in defensive midfield, giving Dean Smith depth and tactical flexibility in multiple positions next season.
Not only that but the structure of the deal, a simple loan move, would allow the club to divert larger resources to other positions in the team.
Villa’s coffers will be boosted by Premier League participation but in an ever-ballooning transfer market it always makes sense to do cheap deals where possible.
There are solid arguments against developing another team’s players, but as Villa look to consolidate their position in the top-flight he can be an excellent bridging option to transfer windows down the line.
The boxes he ticks make him a perfect short-term choice for the club.