Chelsea defender Tuchel has never picked ranks among best Under-21 players in World Cup qualifying

Chelsea own a defender that ranks alongside the best Under-21s players from World Cup qualifying in Europe this year.

Wales international Ethan Ampadu, who’s been loaned out by Chelsea this season, makes the starting XI put together by football statisticians Who Scored

They’ve compiled a line-up of the best performing players aged 21 and under during Europe’s qualifiers for the World Cup next year. 

The 10 groups have been played out in full during 2021, with the winners all booking their spot in next year’s major tournament in Qatar. Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland and Netherlands all qualified after winning their respective groups.


There are still three more teams from Europe that will enter the World Cup, which will be decided via the play-offs in March.

Ampadu one of three Chelsea representatives

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Ampadu, 21, is part of Who Scored’s best line-up due to his eye-catching displays for his country Wales. 

He’s spent his loan spell with Italian club Venezia this season in midfield, but has made himself a regular centre-back for Rob Page’s Wales. 

Ampadu earned an impressive overall score of 7.07 for his performances in the World Cup qualifiers. The versatile centre-half started six of the eight group stages fixtures for Wales, missing this week’s 1-1 draw with Belgium through suspension. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea full-back Reece James is included for his England performances. Also, Blues youngster Billy Gilmour makes it for his Scotland efforts, despite the fact he’s struggling out on loan with Norwich City at club level.

Future at Stamford Bridge?

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Ampadu looks exactly like the right profile for Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, however, he’s not played a game under the German boss.

He was unable to force his way into Tuchel’s plans during pre-season, so ended up moving to Italy this campaign to continue his development in Serie A.

His flexibility to drop between defence and midfield is a really impressive part of his game, though. Wales boss Page previously hailed the versatility of Ampadu earlier in the year

Ampadu recently revealed that he’s constantly getting feedback from Chelsea about his displays out on loan, but is unclear on his long-term future.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.