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Chelsea have won the race to sign Exeter City’s highly-rated youngster Ethan Ampadu [full story here].

Blues fans may not know much about the 16-year-old, so talkSPORT offers you this handy guide…

Full name: Ethan Kwame Ampadu
Date of birth: September 14, 2000
Birthplace: Exeter, Devon
Position: Centre back or centre midfield
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

Profile:

Football is in Ethan’s genes. His dad, Kwame, enjoyed a successful playing career which included spells at Arsenal, Exeter, Leyton Orient and Swansea and is currently head coach of the Gunners’ Under-18s.

His talent was obvious from an early age and he was signed up by his one of his father’s old clubs, Exeter, at the age of seven. It wasn’t long before he was being tipped for the top and in August 2016, he made his debut for the club at the age of just 15. His appearance – in a League Cup match against Brentford – saw him become Exeter’s youngster ever player, breaking an 87-year-old record. His reputation was further enhanced when he was named man-of-the-match.  Ampadu went on to make 13 appearances for the League Two side in all competitions in 2016-17.

He is eligible to represent England, Ireland, Ghana and Wales but has chosen to play for the Dragons. He has already played for Wales at Under-19 level and was named their Young Player of the Year in 2016 – one of the youngest ever players to receive the accolade. Chris Coleman has been closely tracking the teenager’s progress and called him into his senior squad for a training camp in May.

What they say about him:

Exeter manager Paul Tisdale has been singing his praises for the last few years, describing Ampadu as a “remarkably gifted but grounded young man” and claiming “he’s got a long career ahead of him”. He has fielded Ampadu in the centre of defence and centre of midfield but believes he has the talent to play in four or five different positions.

Exeter academy manager Simon Hayward has praised Ampadu’s dedication and commitment. Speaking in November 2016, he said: “He deserves everything he gets, as he’s a very good lad. He’s dedicated and committed and I think he’s put in a huge amount of hard work over a large number of years and he’s proven himself to be a good learner, as he works things out for himself. He very rarely makes a mistake twice, so he’s an absolute credit to himself, his parents and all the staff who’ve done ten years of work with him.”

Exeter’s director of football Steve Perryman, the former Tottenham star, also has only good things to say about the youngster. “He’s got an old head on young shoulders, which is a bit of a cliche,” he said, when discussing his rise to the first team. “Nothing fazes him, as he’s composed, he reads the game and he talks to players of a more senior level. He’s not acting the youngster but he’s humble enough to know his place and on the field he delivers – what more do you want? It’s fantastic, really.”

Who else was in for him?

Ampadu had trials at Liverpool and Manchester United a few years back and both clubs have continued to track his progress. Ampadu was offered a scholarship contract by Exeter but, having sought the advice of his father, has decided to continue his career at Chelsea. It will be interesting to see if he can make the grade at Stamford Bridge with the Blues known for sending their young players out on loan rather than push them forward for regular first-team action.

Video proof:

 

 


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