Why Derby County should reignite interest in Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu
Ampadu, 18, joined Chelsea last summer from League Two outfit Exeter City and went onto feature seven times under Antonio Conte last season, including one in the Premier League. He hasn’t featured for the Blues under new manager Maurizio Sarri but he scripted headlines with an impressive performance in Wales’ 4-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA Nations League.
Now that Ampadu has failed to break into Sarri’s plans at Stamford Bridge, should Lampard reignite his interest in the 18-year-old in January?
Lampard signed a three-year deal with Derby County in May to announce his entry into management and is totally focused on getting the club back in the Premier League. He has wasted very little time in utilising his contacts to make signings, landing Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on loan from Chelsea this summer to bolster his squad.
Mount and Tomori have slotted in nicely at Derby County, with the latter enjoying a blistering start at Pride Park with four goals and an assist in eight games.
Derby have made a steady start to the new campaign, with Lampard making the team play a highly entertaining brand of football. Lampard has a decent squad but over the course of the campaign, he would need a couple of additions to keep up with the intensity of the gruelling Championship campaign.
In that case, Ampadu would be an excellent signing for the Rams. Ampadu’s exploits were quite impressive for a player of his age and he was given his first international start for Wales by manager Ryan Giggs in the game against the Republic of Ireland.
Despite his tender years, Ampadu, who can play in the midfield as well as in the defence, has already made 19 senior appearances – including six for Chelsea. At 18, he needs to have regular minutes of the pitch in order to unlock his true potential and looking at the current scheme of things at Chelsea, it looks improbable this season.
Ampadu is clearly ready for first-team action under Sarri but the Chelsea manager has failed to provide the youngster with game time so far this season. The best thing Sarri could do is send Ampadu on a short-term loan in January to help his development.
Read more: 4 goals in 8 games – Derby County’s promotion chances could hinge on their young star’s form this season
The chance to join Derby in January and add to his early experience could be a logical step in Ampadu’s career. The Wales international would certainly benefit from playing week in and week out at Pride Park under Frank Lampard.