Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder praised Ethan Ampadu’s performance in midfield against Liverpool and said Frank Lampard has a plan for the on-loan star in a holding midfield role.
We’ve talked about the 20-year-old’s strong performance against Liverpool before and why the Blues should consider recalling him in January.
Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s late loan exits last summer have left Lampard with very few options for the double-pivot roles in his new 4-2-3-1 system.
At the moment, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic are the only three obvious choices to play behind Kai Havertz (Billy Gilmour would be another option once he recovers from his knee injury), with Reece James used as an alternative at times.
While Jorginho and Kante pairing has been the go-to midfield choice lately, neither Jorginho nor Kovacic seem to really suit a two-man midfield system.
Chelsea could be in the market for a new partner for Kante for in January, but Lampard may have already had a candidate in mind, according to Sheffield Utd boss Wilder.
Asked whether Ampadu really hit it off in midfield against Liverpool, he told the reporters (via the Metro): “Definitely. The game has moved on, you have to be so mobile as a professional footballer now.
“The game does become a bit stretched but when you’ve got the likes of Sander and Ethan, the way they get about the park, it gives you a little bit more security.
“I thought Ethan’s performance was outstanding. I know the manager at Chelsea sees him as a sitting midfield player.
“He obviously played at right centre-half at Leipzig and in the middle of a back three as well in his time there, so they saw him in that position.”
Ethan Ampadu last night. 🔛🔥
10 recoveries. 🤝
46 passes. 💫
89% Pass accuracy 🎯
8/10 Ground duels won. 🚫
3/3 Aerial duels won. 👊 pic.twitter.com/nvUzGPIljL
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) October 25, 2020
Wilder highlighted Ampadu’s mobility in the central areas and how he was able to tactically put himself in good positions at Anfield.
“The game is moving on and it is a mobile game and players have to get about the park, and we’ve certainly got players that can do that and certainly those two [Ampadu and Berge] possess those qualities,” he added.