Why Aston Villa must sign Ethan Ampadu on loan in January
Chelsea wonderkid Ethan Ampadu is being touted as the next big thing, with the Welsh international being tipped for immense success at Stamford Bridge.
Ampadu, 18, has earned huge praise for his mature performances for Chelsea last season after having broken into the first-team under Antonio Conte last season. He arrived at Stamford Bridge from Exeter City last summer and he also shined for the national team last month, most notably bossing the midfield in a UEFA Nations League game for Wales against the Republic of Ireland.
Despite his youth and a lack of first-team experience at the highest level, Ampadu has played with a maturity and capability way beyond his tender years. While he has signed a new contract at the Stamford Bridge until 2023, the teenage sensation is yet to play this season under new manager Maurizio Sarri.
It’s understandable that a new manager coming into a club will have his own ideas and style of play, and Sarri is no different. The signings of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic (albeit the latter on loan from Real Madrid) have pushed Ampadu way down the pecking order.
The form of these new signings who have formed an eye-catching trio alongside the indispensable N’Golo Kante suggests that there is no way for the 18-year-old to get regular opportunities.
So what should Ampadu do next? In terms of his development, the best he could do is to seek a loan move in January. And given the lack of game time this season, Sarri could be ready to allow Ampadu to leave Chelsea on loan. Should that happen, Aston Villa must sign Ampadu for the rest of the season.
Aston Villa have not had a good start to the new season and now sit 15th in the Championship having won just one of their previous nine games in all competitions. Steve Bruce has come under immense pressure at the moment and despite Villa being just six points adrift of the leaders, their form suggests that it is going to take a herculean task from here on to close the gap.
One has to wait and watch whether Bruce stays in charge of Villa for the whole season but the club could do a world of good by signing Ampadu on loan. A defensive midfielder by trade, Ampadu is also capable of playing at centre-back and would give Villa the options in both the departments.
The Welshman needs first-team football to ensure that his development does not stall in the coming years.
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Ampadu is a sublime talent and some regular Championship football would do him a world of good at this stage of his career. Aston Villa might face a battle to convince Chelsea to loan out the teenager but the Midlands club would boost their squad massively by securing his signature.