Chelsea’s highly-rated versatile teenager Ethan Ampadu will play the 2019/20 campaign with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig after the two clubs concluded a one-year loan deal this week.
Ampadu, who has eight international caps for Wales and widely regarded as one of the best prospects in world football, underwent a medical last Friday.
Omitted from the club’s pre-season tour of Japan to do so, he was previously expected to feature as part of Frank Lampard’s senior plans for the forthcoming campaign.
After all, the club legend approached Chelsea in an attempt to secure a loan deal while managing Championship side Derby last summer.
While they agreed to let playmaker Mason Mount join the Rams for twelve months, club officials wanted to monitor the Welshman and continue his development in west London.
He featured sporadically under Maurizio Sarri during Cup competitions and was a regular fixture in first-team training, before sustaining persistent niggles – described as growing pains – which effectively ended his season in late March.
Leipzig winners in another shrewd deal
It’s an intelligent deal which makes sense for both parties, so it’s unsurprising Leipzig are pleased with their latest acquisition having fought off fierce competition from a number of European clubs for his signature.
Their sporting director Markus Krösche said as much, revealing: “We are very pleased to have won Ethan Ampadu for a one-year loan. He has only 18 years of international experience, can play both in the defense and in defensive midfield.
“Despite many English offers, Ethan has decided to join us and we now have another top talent in our ranks versatile enough to give our squad even more variation.”
Ampadu said: “I am very happy to be at RB Leipzig and start the season with the team. I want to get to know the team as quickly as possible and integrate myself.
“I’ve been following the club in recent years and saw how fantastic young players have come to develop here and what potential there is in this club. So it’s the perfect step for me.”
Lampard is believed to expect them to predominantly deploy him in midfield, as that’s where the 44-year-old sees a future starting berth.
Still only 18, this move is a promising one that will see him gain necessary exposure and experience under the excellent Julian Nagelsmann. A spell in Germany has done wonders for Jadon Sancho, Reiss Nelson and future teammate Lookman in recent seasons.