Frank Lampard spoke to the media in Japan on Tuesday morning and received questions regarding the future of highly rated 18-year old Ethan Ampadu.
The Welsh international spent most of last season as a bit part player, mainly featuring for the development squad. But Lampard has confirmed that the youngster is now likely to spend this season on loan.
Lampard explains Ethan Ampadu s absent because he could be going on loan for the season. He is a big fan of the player and wanted to sign him on loan for Derby last season, so is hopeful he can play a lot of games somewhere this year.#CFCinJapan
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 16, 2019
The decision to send Ampadu on loan is the correct one in my view, if you take into account the full circumstances.
Ampadu is a quality player, but when you look who is ahead of him in the pecking order, it’s obvious to see that his game time will be reduced to domestic cup competitions, therefore not giving him the regular game time that he needs at this stage of his personal development.
If he plays as a centre back, he has David Luiz, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger ahead of him, with uncertainties about Fikayo Tomori also, who Lampard rates highly.
Then in the midfield position, there are the regulars Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in those roles. Then you have Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater whose futures are uncertain, but are both currently in Japan and being considered by Lampard. Mason Mount can also occupy that deeper role if needed.
So for me, I’d much rather have a Bakayoko or Drinkwater filling the squad depth, rather than wasting another season allowing Ampadu to sit the bench, or play development football. He is in a key moment in his career, where regular football is the best way he can now fully develop and improve.
He has the ability to play a number of roles, but I think it’s also now important that he is coached in one role only, and becomes the master of that role. He needs a focus.
Its absolutely correct to send Amapdu out on loan this season, but it must be at a decent level so he can be tested against the best. Ideally a Premier League loan so he can show what he can do against the teams that Chelsea will be lining up against week in week out.