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    Ethan Ampadu made his International debut on November 10th during Wales' friendly against France and more than held his own against a talented Les Bleus side. The 17-year-old is an exceptional talent and has a burgeoning reputation but can he break into Chelsea's starting eleven? How good can the teenager become?

    The Blues signed Ampadu from Exeter at the beginning of July but the fee is yet to be finalised between the two clubs. The Grecians will receive compensation for their talented player and are likely to profit substantially from his recent International bow. He became the Devon club's youngest debutant and attracted interest from a large number of top-flight clubs but it was the West Londoners who managed to secure his signature. Despite his father coaching Arsenal's under 18s, Ampadu opted for a different path and he certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

    Whilst it may take a while for the teenager to make his Premier League debut, he has featured in this season's EFL Cup alongside Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah, and Fiyako Tomori. He proved to be the star of the show as the youthful outfit eased past Nottingham Forest. He became the youngest debutant for the club in over ten years and his manager Antonio Conte was full of praise for the youngster saying "He has good prospects to become a Chelsea player. He's strong physically, [with a] good technique and personality".

    Whilst the Italian was extremely complimentary about Ampadu, he admitted that the club must continue to work with the teenager and develop him before he can make his Premier League debut. He is unlikely to be thrown in at this stage of the campaign with Chelsea still battling for the title. A crucial 1-0 success against Manchester United moved them within a point of Jose Mourinho's side, who sit in 2nd, but the Blues remain nine points behind runaway leaders Manchester City. They were amongst many pundits' pre-season football tips to retain their title but have plenty of ground to make up and they can currently be backed at 16/1 with Betsson for the title whilst they're 2/5 to retain their place in the top four.

    Ampadu's versatility is a huge asset and should see him become an integral part of the Chelsea squad over the next couple of campaigns. He's been compared to Rio Ferdinand by Chris Coleman but also operates in central midfield and has shown significant ability in both positions. He is confident in possession, not afraid to bring the ball out of defence and can also pick a pass. Whilst there is still a rawness to his play, he more than held his own for 20 minutes against France and he looks stylish enough to flourish in the Premier League. Chelsea aren't famed for blooding many young players in the top flight but few are as talented as Ampadu and he will surely get his opportunity soon.
    The sky is the limit for the prodigious 17-year-old, who must continue to work hard and patiently wait for his chance to break into the Chelsea first team. Operating effectively in two different positions is likely to enhance his chances of breaking into Conte's eleven and he is widely predicted to become a Chelsea and Wales star of the future.

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    Posted: Monday 20th November 2017
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