Why Chelsea should recall Ethan Ampadu from RB Leipzig loan spell
Despite only a mediocre start to the ongoing Premier League season, Frank Lampard’s proficiency in working wonders with talented youngsters has been a massive positive for Chelsea.
With several academy starlets like Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori taking Stamford Bridge by storm with their rich vein of form early in the season, it is worth admitting that the homecoming of the club-legend has, indeed, played a telling role in the club’s drastic alternation in stance towards the handling of homegrown prospects.
The two-window transfer ban, of course, has been a key driving force behind such a remarkable change at Stamford Bridge but the fans should be happy with the kind of effort that Lampard has put in to build a team in his own image without the luxury of splashing out enormous amounts of cash like his predecessors.
Abraham, Mount and Tomori have established themselves as the mainstays in their respective positions, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Recce James are already back from injuries and, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek also expected to return from a spell on the sidelines midway through the season, the fans can look forward to something that they have been craving badly for years, that is, a team full of homegrown stars led by a manager who is also one of their own.
The strength of Chelsea’s loan army has reduced significantly under Lampard but one starlet who is likely to feel hard done by is none other than Ethan Ampadu, who is currently on loan at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.
Given Leipzig’s scintillating track record in blooding talented youngsters and the charismatic presence of manager Julian Nagelsmann at the helm of affairs, Chelsea’s decision to loan out Ampadu to the German top-flight looked like a masterstroke at the start of the season, but things haven’t quite gone according to the script for the 19-year-old.
The talented teenager is yet to make a single appearance for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga thus far and has even failed to make the matchday squads on most occasions, including in the domestic cup games, something which clearly indicates that Nagelsmann is not quite interested in offering Ampadu a chance to prove his worth.
In fairness to Nagelsmann, RB Leipzig already have a well-stocked defensive unit consisting of two of the most exciting defensive prospects in Europe, Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate, while Austrian international Willi Orban is pretty much an established star in the Bundesliga.
Ampadu would have sensed an opportunity to break into the first-team when Upamecano was out with an injury for a few games but Nagelsmann instead chose to play a back-three with full-back Nordi Mukiele filling in the void.
The manager is unlikely to tamper with his centre-back combinations too much, given that Leipzig currently boast of one of the best defensive records in the Bundesliga thus far this term, having conceded only 6 goals in 6 league outings. Hence, it is pretty clear that Ampadu’s prospects of furthering his development with regular minutes at Leipzig look bleak.
To that end, Chelsea should not hesitate to recall Ethan Ampadu from his loan spell in January, given that constantly sitting on the sidelines at Leipzig isn’t going to work any wonders for his growth and development.
The Blues have looked vulnerable at the back at times and, with the fountain of youth currently flowing at Stamford Bridge, Lampard might be tempted to test out the Welshman’s credentials at some point of time.
Also, his versatility to play in a holding midfield role means that he could possibly challenge for a bit-part role at his parent club should they recall him in January.
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The loan spell at Leipzig is turning into a rather ill-fated one from Ampadu’s perspective and, if Chelsea really believe that the 19-year-old needs to spend time away from Stamford Bridge, they might as well look to arrange a temporary move to the Championship or League One after recalling him in January.