Iliman Ndiaye and Adam Davies are the two current Sheffield United players in Qatar, but Ethan Ampadu is another with a Blades interest for Wales.
Ampadu spent the 2020/21 season out on loan with United from Chelsea. During that campaign, he was forced to learn on the job and struggled – like many did – in a poor United side. The Blades were relegated that year, with Chris Wilder losing his job along the way.
However, since returning to Chelsea, Ampadu has since moved out on loan again to Italy. This time, with Spezia, where he is doing much better than he did at Bramall Lane.
Those performances have seen him called up to the Wales squad. And against the USA last night, Ampadu showed just why United signed him in the first place in 2020.
Ampadu excellent for Wales
There was a moment in the final few minutes that summed up Ampadu’s performance. With the ball breaking loose, the Chelsea loanee crunched into a tackle, taking the ball but hurting himself in the process.
‘Where does he get his heart’ the commentator exclaimed. It was a tackle most at Bramall Lane would have been proud of, and one we’d liked to have seen more of.
Wales Online were only half impressed with Ampadu, mind. They gave him a 6/10 for his efforts, although they admitted he did improve as the game went on.
“Another who was unusually guilty of giving up the ball once or twice early on. Was more involved in the second half and put his body on the line with some crunching tackles. Really grew into it after a couple of nervy early moments,” Wales Online wrote about Ampadu.
Sheff U News View: Good to see Ethan Ampadu finally performing for Wales
We were all quite excited when United signed Ethan Ampadu. Unfortunately, he just seemed to come along at a bad time with the club having a bad season in general.
But as the saying goes, ‘once a blade always a blade’, it’s good to see him flourishing now. He was excellent in that second half for Wales and showed everyone what he was about.
United never saw the absolute best of Ampadu. But Chelsea have still kept him on their books, and if he keeps playing like he did last night, then he might well fulfil his huge potential.