Chelsea wonderkid Ethan Ampadu is being touted as the next big thing, with the Welsh international being tipped for greatness at Stamford Bridge.
Ethan Ampadu has had a whirlwind couple of weeks. After bossing the midfield in a UEFA Nations League game for Wales against the Republic of Ireland, Chelsea have tied the youngster to a new five-year contract until 2023. But who is this new Chelsea starlet? Here are three things you might want to know about the big-haired defender.
★: Ethan extends:- Ethan Ampadu has signed a new five-year contract at Chelsea…. https://t.co/qRNmrEJbgD
— TOCFCWS (@tocfcws) September 19, 2018
1. He’s a lifelong Chelsea fan.
Most fans choose a football club to support because of locality, or because they have a favourite player for them. But not Ethan. The now Chelsea player chose to support the Blues to initially go against his dad, former Republic of Ireland U21 International and Arsenal player Kwame Ampadu. He shares that his fondest Chelsea memory was six years ago when the Blues lifted the Champions League trophy against Bayern Munich.
‘When Bayern Munich scored I was probably crying, getting angry at the TV! Then I saw my favourite player Drogba do what he does best, step up and score that header and then the penalty. Thankfully we won.’
2. He made his Wales debut against France at the age of 17 and has been a full international ever since.
Ampadu is eligible to play for England through birth, the Republic of Ireland and Ghana by virtue of his father, and Wales through his Welsh-born mother. Ethan made his debut for the Dragons last November against France, coming on as a 64th-minute substitute for Joe Ledley in a 2-0 loss.
He made his most recent appearance for Wales in a Nations League match against Ireland, cap-tying him for the Dragons. Wales came out on top 4-1 in that fixture with Ethan playing 66 minutes and the youngster did not disappoint as he was named the man of the match for his solid effort. Ampadu was everywhere, breaking up plays and instigating counter attacks for the Dragons. He was the perfect partner that night for the more attack-minded Joe Allen.
‘#ENG rejected Ampadu because he took too few touches’
Paul Tisdale managed Ethan Ampadu at Exeter.
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) September 10, 2018
3. He used to play as a striker in his early youth days.
Ethan used to look up to his idol Didier Drogba so much that he started his youth career as a striker. But since then he’s been playing as a centre back and defensive midfield and has become one of the top defensive prospects in the UK.
‘I might have been a striker back then, because I used to be a striker, so that was one of the reasons I loved Drogba so much, but when I turned into more of a defender I looked at the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Gary Cahill, to try and help me better my game.’