Ampadu eyes first-team spot

Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu is looking to impress Maurizio Sarri in a bid to break into the first-team at Stamford Bridge.

Ampadu suggested he was ready for a bigger role for the Blues with an impressive performance in Wales’ 4-1 Nations League victory over the Republic of Ireland on Thursday.

The youngster made seven appearances under Antonio Conte last season before fracturing his ankle in March, but has yet to play for Chelsea under Sarri.

“You could say there’s been frustration on one hand, but at the same time I’m getting experience training with the players,” Ampadu told Sky Sports.

Unlike many of Chelsea’s young players, the 17-year-old has remained at the club rather than being loaned out.

“I’m just trying to improve to get into the team. This season’s plans are this season’s plans and at the moment I’ve just to keep improving to try and get in the team.

“I want to show the manager what I can do.”

Ampadu’s appearance against the Republic ended any lingering doubts over his international future.

The Exeter-born midfielder or defender, who is the son of former Arsenal and Swansea star Kwame Ampadu, had previously played twice for Wales, against France and Panama last autumn.

Those games were friendlies and he could have switched international allegiance, with the option of playing for England, Ghana or the Republic. His father Kwame, who was born in England and raised in Ireland, is of Ghanaian and Irish descent and played for the Republic’s U21 side.

However, Ampadu’s mother was born in Wales and he came through the Welsh system, playing for the under-14s, under-15s, under-16s and under-17s, although he was invited by England to join their youth set-up.

“There was talk [about my future], but I’ve always been thinking about Wales,” Ampadu said. “As you could see here I really enjoy playing for Wales, the atmosphere, and everything around it.

“I’ve always felt part of the set-up and the senior players and staff have helped that.

“The older, more experienced players definitely help us settle in, and that gives us more confidence to go out on the pitch and express ourselves.”

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