Two months into his loan move to RB Leipzig, Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu is still looking for his first competitive minutes at the Bundesliga side renowned for their faith in young players. Needless to say, that’s not an ideal situation. While he’s been picked for the bench six of the seven league games so far, he’s not actually gotten to play.
Considering that he was sent out on loan with the express intent to challenge and carve out minutes for himself to further his development, we should be concerned. Wales, and their manager Ryan Giggs, certainly are.
“It’s a concern because Ethan is at the age now where he needs to play. I’m going to go [to Leipzig] and see Ethan after this [training] camp because obviously the Red Bull model is an interesting one. But I will have a conversation about his progress.
“He’s had a few problems there injury-wise, nothing serious but little aches and pains. The last few camps he’s looked so much better in training. He is such a talent it’s hard to ignore. But it’s very difficult for him to play 90 minutes and back-to-back games, because he’s not had the minutes.”
Ampadu has played in Wales’ last three Euro 2020 qualifiers, starting the last two, against Hungary and Azerbaijan back in June and September, respectively. But those international minutes have been his only bits of competitive football since an 11-minute cameo against Malmö FF in late February for Chelsea, and that’s no way to go about ensuring that he lives up to his massive potential.
It’s unclear what the best solution may be. Ampadu’s stuck with RB Leizig until at least the January transfer window, but ideally, he’ll be able to turn things around before then and start collecting some of the minutes we’re all hoping for. Leipzig have started the season very strongly, and are sitting just two points off early pace-setters Borussia Mönchengladbach in fifth place. That will only make Ampadu’s task even more challenging.
“I am in touch with Ethan quite regularly, but I’ve not felt the need to speak to anyone at Chelsea yet. You’ve seen the likes of Jadon Sancho who have done well abroad so we’ve seen it work. It’s a good thing but they have got to play.”
-Ryan Giggs; source: Wales Online
Wales take on Slovakia tomorrow and Croatia on Sunday during this international break.