Manager says Chelsea told him to play loanee in particular position to prepare him for London return
Spezia manager Luca Gotti said Chelsea want him to play their loanee Ethan Ampadu as a centre-back as they expect him to return to London next year.
The 21-year-old has returned to Italy for a season-long loan spell at Spezia after spending the previous term at Venezia.
His late loan exit likely disappointed many Chelsea fans who expected him to get into Thomas Tuchel’s first-team squad this season after a strong pre-season.
Even Tuchel himself admitted that he was impressed by Ampadu’s performance in the middle of the back three during their tour in the United States.
However, Chelsea have clearly not given up on the Wales international’s potential.
According to Spezia boss Gotti, the Blues actually want to prepare the versatile player for a Stamford Bridge return.
“He [will play] on the right of [the back three],” Gotti said about Ampadu’s expected role at Spezia (via Tuttomercatoweb).
“He is not [very tall], but has a strong physicality and the willingness to fight for the ball.
“Because of these characteristics, he was used as a wild card [at his previous loan club Venezia]. They would put him on the pitch, then choose the other 10 men at Venezia.
“However, Chelsea recommended me to use him [as a centre-back] and the discussions will continue.
“They think he will return to Chelsea as a centre-back.”
Chelsea expect Ampadu’s return
After the arrivals of Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, and Marc Cucurella, whom Tuchel considers as a left centre-back option, Ampadu would have had a very limited game time if he had stayed at Chelsea.
Chelsea might have decided that another loan stint would benefit Ampadu more than being the fifth, sixth-choice centre-back at the club this season.
Next year, however, would be quite different.
Thiago Silva is going to be 39 in just over a year, while other Chelsea veterans; Cesar Azpilicueta and Kalidou Koulibaly, might not be able to play week in, week out.
Ampadu and Levi Colwill, who is on loan at Brighton, are obvious options to rejuvenate the defensive line at Chelsea.