The news of Ethan Ampadu joining German club RB Leipzig on a season-long loan deal was greeted with a good degree of well-deserved excitement. After all, Leipzig are known as one of the best clubs in Europe when it comes to developing young talent (e.g. Timo Werner), and that was before they appointed former Hoffenheim manager, Julian Nagelsmann to lead the team this season.
However, reality has not been too kind to Ampadu. The 19-year-old has struggled for minutes. He didn’t make his debut until the end of October, and has collected less than an hour’s worth of minutes across three substitute appearances in all competitions.
This situation has understandably lead to suggestions of Chelsea recalling Ethan in January and finding him a better solution for the second half of the season. However, RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Minztlaff has played down that possibility, claiming that it’s “not an option”. Whether he means that Chelsea simply do not have a recall clause, as rumored — which sounds as unlikely as silly, and surely one could be negotiated if needed — or if he’s basing this on the expected increase of Ampadu’s involvement going forward is unclear. Either way, it sounds like Ampadu will be staying.
“A return ahead of time is not an option. Julian Nagelsmann will develop Ethan in training in such a way that he will be used in this long season”
-Oliver Mintzlaff; Source: Bild via Inside Futbol
Leipzig have been hit with a few key injuries in recent weeks, including to center backs Ibrahima Konate and Willi Orban, which could indeed open up an avenue for Ampadu and taking advantage of his versatility — he continues to play midfield for Wales, but is quite capable in defense as well.
It might not be the most ideal situation for Ampadu, but things may be starting to look up.