Bundesliga Insights – Ethan Ampadu

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Our latest Twitter poll pitted some of the top young British talents in the Bundesliga against each other, with Ethan Ampadu coming out on top as the German top-flight looks to find the next Jadon Sancho.

England international Sancho has taken the Bundesliga by storm and Bundesliga clubs are continuing to look to the United Kingdom to see can they unearth further gems.

Ampadu moved to Germany from Chelsea in July, joining RB Leipzig on a one-year loan deal after signing a new five-year deal at Stamford Bridge in 2018. The Welsh teenager has amazingly played more international games than senior league games, but is looking to gain more first-team experience in Leipzig.

Now 19, he first broke through as a 15-year-old with Exeter City back in 2016 and was snapped up by Chelsea less than a year later. There, he became the first player born in the 2000s to play for the Blues but played just one single Premier League game across two seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Leipzig should have been a proving ground for the versatile Welshman, who can play at both centre-back and in defensive midfield, but new Red Bulls boss Julian Nagelsmann left him on the bench for the majority of the first half of the season.

Two substitute appearances in November, as well as a start in the Champions League against Benfica, looked to finally give Ampadu the break he needed, but after playing in wins over Mainz and Hertha Berlin, he was back on the bench. 

In February, with Leipzig in the midst of a defensive injury crisis, Ampadu played his first complete 90 minutes for Leipzig, starting in London against Tottenham in the first leg of the Champions League last 16. Back trouble ruled him out of the return leg and ruined his chances of holding down a regular spot before football was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

However, with Chelsea boss Frank Lampard placing his faith in youth players, Ampadu sees his future back at Stamford Bridge and is eager to get back playing in a blue shirt.

“I would like to go back, I aim to, but I am focused on Leipzig,” he told the Evening Standard in February.

“I am always watching Chelsea and seeing what is going on. It is good to see the young players are shining at the moment.”

His start against Spurs shows that Ampadu still has what it takes to play and perform against top Premier League clubs, and the teenager is thankful that he had the opportunity to prove himself after finding it difficult to get game time in Leipzig.

“I have not played as much as I would have liked to but I am definitely learning in training and working hard,” he said.

“When this situation came of starting I knew it was a good opportunity to show what I can do and I’d like to think I’ve done that.

“I just tried to play my game. I try to be composed and just try to play. We won the game and played well as a team. That is what we practised for, that is what we prepared for so I am glad it came off.”

Ampadu’s loan deal expires at the end of June when he is expected to return to Chelsea. His Leipzig move has not gone as planned but despite a lack of minutes in Germany, the youngster showed glimpses of the type of player he can become.

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About Author

Ronan Murphy is a social producer for Goal.com, where he looks after their Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as providing written features on the Bundesliga and FIFA. He also appears regularly on radio and television, including talkSport and LoveSport in the UK, talking German football while constantly sharing his strange obsession with super-striker Sandro Wagner.

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