16 year old Exeter City youngster Ethan Ampadu has been monitored by several top Premier League sides including Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. However, the Reds are now out of the race and Arsenal are clear favorites to acquire his services, as confirmed by Liverpool Echo.
Liverpool have been a long-term admirer of the prodigy and offered him a trial when he was 14. Although he was impressive in training, the youngster refused to join the Reds rejecting an offer and opted to stay with the League Two outfit. But he is now ready for a high-profile switch and Arsenal are reportedly the front runners as his father Kwame Ampadu works as a coach in the Gunners’ academy.
Since his senior debut on 9th August, 2016 aged 15 years, 10 months and 26 days against Championship outfit Brentford in a League Cup fixture, the 5 ft 9 in defensive midfielder has been handed 10 senior appearances by the Grecians’ boss Paul Tisdale. At the age of 16, he is a regular with Wales U19 squad and also attended their senior side’s pre-Euro training campaign under Chris Coleman alongside the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen.
Ampadu is hailed as a combative as well as ball-playing midfielder, with great vision and passing range. The Welshman has also been tried as a centre-back and he impressed in an unusual make-shift role.
Exeter are currently fighting to avoid relegation and the boss, Paul Tisdale, is banking on the youngster to rescue their season. He is well aware of his potential and knows it won’t be possible to retain a talent of Ampadu’s stature for long, but is reluctant to draw any conclusion on the Welsh young player of the year’s future:
“I’d like to think there’s a substantial period of time where playing in our first team is going to aid him with his progress. He’s a fabulous young talent – he’s committed himself to us over the past couple of years when he could have left us earlier to go to anther club.”
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Photo by Kevin Hutchinson