Ethan Ampadu could be set for a first-team breakthrough at Chelsea after Derby County boss Frank Lampard revealed that a loan bid for the youngster had been rejected.
The ex-Blues legend attempted to secure Ampadu on loan to bolster his side’s promotion bid, but Maurizio Sarri’s side have rebuffed his attempts to take another youngster on a short-term deal, having already signed Mason Mount on loan.
Ampadu has already made an impression at Chelsea, playing twice in the Europa League, and was also deployed in defensive midfield in the FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest at the weekend.
The 18-year-old played the full 90 minutes against the Championship outfit in the 2-0 victory, and with Cesc Fabregas seemingly saying his goodbyes to the Blues, Ampadu could well find himself in the first-team reckoning in the Premier League sooner rather than later.
Lampard was clear that Chelsea have plans for Ampadu, and also expressed his disappointment at being unable to land him.
He is quoted by the Daily Mirror: “Ethan Ampadu can play in a few positions – that’s why he would be so valuable to anybody. “The last I heard he was staying at Chelsea, and that’s that.” There will be a hole in Sarri’s squad if Fabregas completes his long-mooted move to Monaco, but Ampadu already looks fit to fill it.
Ampadu has the ability to play in central defence or midfield, and such versatility can prove vital when teams are stretched. The teenager played 90 minutes at the back as the Blues drew 2-2 with Vidi in the Europa League, while he was placed in midfield versus Forest, showing that Sarri is happy to place his faith in the youngster. Ampadu’s talent has not gone unnoticed; he has already won six caps for Wales, and has played against the likes of France and Spain at senior level, while providing an assist in the 4-1 thumping of the Republic of Ireland. His meteoric rise looks set to continue at Stamford Bridge, and Ampadu could become one of the few players to actually graduate from the club’s youth set-up and subsequently stay in west London.
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