Wales boss Page praises 'versatile' Chelsea talent Ethan Ampadu

Wales caretaker manager Robert Page has praised on-loan Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu for his versatility, having played various defensive roles at Sheffield United.

The 20-year-old has always been the type of defensive player that can slot into the backline or midfield since his academy days.

He joined Sheffield Utd on a season-long loan deal last summer and has had 17 starts as a defender and 10 starts as a midfielder in the Premier League this season (Whoscored).

Wales stand-in boss Page, who is in charge in Ryan Giggs’ absence, said the Chelsea academy graduate’s ability to play in multiple roles can only help the national team.

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“The thing with Ethan is that he has played anywhere along the back three,” Page said in his press conference on Tuesday (via Beanyman News YouTube channel)

“I’ve seen him, for Sheffield United, played on the right, centre, and on the left.

“He can play in midfield as well, so he can play in a multitude of positions.

“Obviously I’m not going to say where he is going to play if he is going to play tomorrow [v Belgium].

“But the good thing is that he has a lot of strings to his bow and it is great to have a versatile player like that.”

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Chronicle view

While Sheffield Utd’s underwhelming season does not really help Ampadu make a strong case for his return to Chelsea, his versatility might pique Thomas Tuchel’s interest.

Back in 2018, former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte described Ampadu’s “tactical and physical quality” as something “unusual for a player who is only 17 years old” [ESPN].

Conte then said: “We are talking about a really good prospect for Chelsea, for the present and the future.”

The Chelsea fans will hope that it is still the case and Ampadu can make it at Stamford Bridge.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.