Chelsea midfielder/defender Ethan Ampadu is back after a season-long loan at Serie A club Venezia where he quickly established himself as a regular starter. Although he could not single-handedly avoid his former team from relegation last term, he did aid the Welsh national team in qualifying to the World Cup in Qatar later this year after a 64-year absence from the competition.
Now in Los Angeles alongside the rest of Chelsea’s squad as they ready themselves for the upcoming season, Ampadu is greatly enjoying the Californian summer and the setups to our pre-season on American soil.
“It’s great here! The weather is so good, the facilities are lovely and it’s certainly not a bad place to start pre-season.
“The campus where we are playing is pretty impressive and hopefully this is the start of a good two weeks for us as a group.”
Pre-season is also a time of renewed hopes for young players such as Ampadu, who has been around for so long that we often forget he’s still 21-years-old. His main asset at the moment is versatility, and he hopes it can give him an edge when manager Thomas Tuchel decides who to keep and entrust moving forward in the season.
“Every season is a big season but I’d like to take some of the momentum from last year into this pre-season.
“Everybody just wants to be on the pitch and thankfully I feel comfortable playing in more than one position.
“Hopefully I can get onto the pitch this season for Chelsea and help out the side. Wherever Thomas needs me, I’d be happy to play there. I’m more than comfortable playing, whether that’s at centre-back, in midfield or at right wing-back.”
-Ethan Ampadu; Source: Chelsea FC
With César Azpilicueta likely to leave Chelsea once we sort out centre-back(s) and Reece James having no cover on the right flank of defence when the captain departs the Bridge, Ampadu might be what we need to solve depth issues this season and beyond. Still he needs to the talking on the pitch, starting this weekend against Club América.