Rumour: Chelsea confident of beating Arsenal in transfer chase for Exeter City starlet


Chelsea are reportedly confident of snapping up Exeter City starlet defensive midfielder Ethan Ampadu ahead of Arsenal, despite his father working as a coach for the Gunners.

According to reports by the Mirror, The 16-year-old played against the Blues for Exeter City in the Checkatrade trophy at Stamford Bridge, and he caught the eye of club scouts then.

The 16-year-old has risen to the fore at St. James Park this season having been handed his debut in August.

Ampadu, who is a result of the Exeter City academy, made his debut at the age of 15 years against Brentford in a League Cup match, becoming Exeter City’s youngest ever player and breaking a record set by Arsenal legend Cliff Bastin – who set the record all the way back in 1928. The 16-year-old midfielder was likewise nominated the man of the match for that very game.

Ampadu, who can also play at centre-back, has made nine appearances in all competitions for Exeter this season including in a 3-2 win over Chelsea’s under-23s in the EFL Trophy.

The defensive Medio has likewise appeared for both the Wales U-17 and U-19 national teams, despite being only 16. And earlier in November as per BBC Sport, he picked up Wales’ young player of the year award. He is also eligible to represent England, Ireland and Ghana.

The teenager is one of the brightest prospects outside of the Premier League and the biggest obstacle that Chelsea could face when it comes to signing Ampadu is that Arsenal are also interested in him and his father, Kwame, is one of the under-18 coaches at Colney, where Arsenal train.

Kwame started his career at Arsenal but only made two league appearances in the three years up to 1991. He then went on to play for Swansea City, Exeter City and Leyton Orient.

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale has accepted it’s only a matter of time before Ampadu heads off to any bigger European clubs but hopes he’ll remain at the club for some more time to focus on his further development.

Photo by pittaya