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Ethan Ampadu: The Leader That Was Promised

One of the most prominent changes that Nagelsmann has brought to the RB Leipzig side this season is the fluidity in the attacking system ...

One of the most prominent changes that Nagelsmann has brought to the RB Leipzig side this season is the fluidity in the attacking system of the team. Leipzig under Nagelsmann has transformed into a fast, aggressive and organised attacking unit. The sharpness in their counter-attacking style resembles a prime Mourinho team. The team’s aggressive pressing and using the width of the pitch while in possession of the ball makes it one of the most difficult oppositions to play against.

As a Chelsea fan, what excites and concerns me the most is the development of the future club captain Ethan Ampadu, who currently plays for the RB Leipzig side on a season-long loan. The former Sideshow-Bob lookalike chose a difficult destination for his season-long development as getting game time in this RB Leipzig side was not going to be easy. So far, he has only been on the pitch 7 times. For a young talent like him, going out on loans should solve the purpose of getting more playing time to gain experience.

Although regularly making the bench, Ampadu was only able to make his first appearance on 30th October as a second-half substitute against Wolfsburg in a DFB cup match, a game RB Leipzig won with a thumping 6-1 scoreline. Come February, Ampadu made the world notice his talent when he played the best game of his life so far against Tottenham in the first leg of the knockout stage of the Champions League. Bossing the Tottenham attackers on and off the ball, Ampadu recorded the best individual statistics in number of touches (109), number of passes attempted (98), number of passes completed (93), most interceptions (5) and highest pass accuracy (95%). Ampadu had bossed the backline throughout the duration of the game.

His lack of regular game time remains a consistent problem. Ampadu doesn’t pull such impressive performances every chance he gets due to his lack of game time. The game against Tottenham was only his seventh appearance of the season and the first full 90 min appearance. Ampadu is mainly deployed at the heart of the defence in a back 3 or one of the two centre backs in a 4-man backline. Standing at a modest height of 5’6” from the ground, Ampadu looks more comfortable playing as a holding midfielder in a 4-3-3 or in a double pivot of 4-2-3-1. He is very comfortable in that position as he can move the ball with ease and play a crucial role in building the attack from the back. He finishes a game with a very high number of touches and passes with a 91% success rate. As a holding midfielder, he is also tactically adept to break or intercept opposition attacks. He never shies away from going into a 50-50 tackle and can easily retain or win back possession under pressure. At 19 years of age, Ampadu has already earned 9 senior caps for the Wales national team where he has played in his most effective position as a defensive midfielder.

Looking at the future, Lampard’s youth revolution fits perfectly for Ethan Ampadu. Lampard likes to play an aggressive possession-based fluid attacking system with a compact tactically pressing defensive system. Ethan Ampadu can sit in the heart of the midfield in his system. Playing from the back, his admirable composure on the ball and impressive accuracy to find the right pass coupled with his strength and efficiency in committing to challenges and tackles makes him the perfect fit for the holding midfield position. A loyal Chelsea fan with a tactical mind, a vigorously competitive young talent who maintains sangfroid and composure on the inside is what Chelsea needs in a future captain. He will surely come back next season to challenge Jorginho and Billy Gilmour for his place in the starting 11.

Written by - @Supratik_Das
Edit by - @KristenPulisic

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