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Ampadu not returning to Chelsea, which is good news for Sheffield United

Ethan Ampadu won’t be returning to Chelsea after the sacking of Frank Lampard as manager.

Lampard was dismissed on Tuesday and has since been replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

Although it seemed unlikely, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has confirmed Tuchel cannot recall Ampadu from his season-long loan at Bramall Lane.

“There’s no call back with Ethan. There’s no break clause in that deal. He’ll be staying with us,” Wilder told The Sheffield Star.

“Ethan won’t be enjoying the situation we are in, the same as nobody else here isn’t. But his attitude has been great.

“He won’t be enjoying it and he possibly wouldn’t have expected it either. But I’ve sat down with all the young players and told them there is so much for them to gain from all of this.

“They’ll look back on this period later in their careers and, so long as they continue to do the right things, realise they gained so much from it. It will make them stronger and better, so long as they keep the right attitude.”

Why Ampadu not returning to Chelsea is so important

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This is good news for the Blades, with Ampadu having settled into a problematic role in recent times.

Arguably the biggest headache for Wilder this season has been how to replace Jack O’Connell.

O’Connell was key for United last term as they finished ninth in their first Premier League campaign in 12 years.

Yet having to undergo knee surgery means the centre-back has played just twice in 2020/21.

In his absence, Wilder has selected seven different players on the left of his back three – to varying degrees of success.

The issue is having to combine defensive and attacking duties in O’Connell’s unique overlapping centre-back role.

As someone who is comfortable playing in defence and midfield, Ampadu has come to closest to replicating the influence of the 27-year-old.

The Wales international was criticised when playing in the middle for slowing up play. Yet as a central defender, the 20-year-old is much more effective.

Ampadu has started at the back in the last five matches in all competitions. During that time, the Blades have won three games and kept their first clean sheet of the season.

Having Ampadu to call on will help United at least put up a fight against relegation.

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