Chelsea have been criticised, especially over the last few years, for their lack of developing Premier League talent and their tendency to ship out their best young stars on loan. However, they are trying to break this and first-team places for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu are examples of that. On Wednesday morning, it was confirmed that the latter will remain with the Blues for the next five years, at least.
The 18-year-old isn’t strictly a product of the Chelsea youth academy as the West London club snapped him up last summer from Exeter City but it is at Stamford Bridge where he has gone from strength to strength. Time spent in the youth sides quickly transferred to first-team minutes and his first appearance came in the Carabao Cup third round tie with Nottingham Forest last season.
This was followed soon after with his first start, in the next round against Everton where the Welsh international became the first player born in the 21st century to start for the Blues. Four more first-team appearances followed in 2017/18 but an injury put a sorry end to what had been a fantastic debut campaign.
Although Ampadu has failed to play under Maurizio Sarri yet, the international accolades have been the highlight of his season so far. Following a Wales debut at the Stade de France in November of last year, his first start for his country came earlier in the month. His performance against the Republic of Ireland in their 4-1 win stood out and earned great praise from the Wales manager, Ryan Giggs.
The next five years look extremely promising for Ethan Ampadu and Chelsea. It’s surely only a matter of time before he is considered as backup for Sarri’s first choice defenders/midfielders, although, it does seem as though the Italian boss is fixed on ensuring he has the chance of regular football, which is being offered in the under-23 squad.