Ethan Ampadu wants to fight for a place in Chelsea’s first team despite several clubs registering their interest in taking the Wales international on loan for the 2020/21 campaign.
The 19-year-old, who spent last season on the fringes of RB Leipzig’s squad, is highly-rated by Frank Lampard and may be helped by his versatility.
During pre-season last summer, before the season-long move to Germany was confirmed, he played in defensive midfield but is equally adept at centre back – a problem position for Lampard in his first season as head coach.
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Norwich City are among those to have enquired about Ampadu’s availability but they have since shifted their attention to a second choice defensive midfield option in Tottenham Hotspur’s Oliver Skipp.
That suggests Chelsea may allow the teenager a pre-season audition before making a decision on his short-term future.
A Premier League loan could still be a possibility, with Fulham linked to a move – although that could be dependent on the newly-promoted side sealing a deal for Southampton’s Harrison Reed.
Ampadu made seven appearances at Leipzig, five of them coming off the bench, but was also sidelined by back issues. The success of Julian Nagelsmann’s side, who face Paris Saint-Germain in their first Champions League semi-final tonight, meant opportunities were limited.
In an interview with the Athletic back in April Ampadu spoke of his disappointment but was seeking to translate it into a long-term positive. “I’ve learned a lot through those frustrations which will only help me later in my career,” he said.
“I’ve not played as many games as I’d have liked to but in the games I’ve played in, I think I’ve done reasonably well. That’ll give me confidence but I’ve things to learn from.”
He is in the curious position of having more…