Sheffield United should consider Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu. Manager Frank Lampard confirmed the youngster is likely to leave on loan.
As the BBC Sport reports, Ampadu has not gone on the Blues’ pre-season tour of Japan ahead of his expected departure.
Newly promoted Aston Villa have emerged as early contenders for the 18-year-old. Yet perhaps the Blades should use their links in West London to sign Ampadu themselves.
According to the Sheffield Star, Chelsea are one of their “most trusted partners in the loan market.” Chris Wilder is also said to have a “direct line to the Londoners’ development department.”
This was a relationship established during Wilder’s first season at Bramall Lane in 2016/17. The 51-year-old sent a member of his backroom staff to have meetings with Premier League clubs.
It was highlighted how good Bramall Lane was as a base for talented young players. They have since developed top flight loanees such as Dean Henderson, Kieran Dowell and Jamal Blackman.
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Why Ethan Ampadu?
Ampadu is certainly very highly thought of in West London. The teenager joined Chelsea in the summer of 2017 from boyhood club Exeter City. He made his Exeter debut aged just 15.
Ampadu played for the Blues first team that season, coming off the bench against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup.
Having played for Wales at youth level, he earned his first senior international cap for the country in 2017/18 as well. To date, Ampadu has eight caps.
Along with his rapid rise and obvious talent, the thing that might make the Welshman appealing to Wilder is his versatility. Ampadu can play as both a centre-back and defensive midfielder.
The Blades have signed two attack-minded midfield players this summer in Luke Freeman and Ravel Morrison. However, with limited options in the middle, signing one who can sit back would be useful too.
Ampadu would also be a great option in a three-man defence in Wilder’s 3-4-1-2 formation.