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Ex-coach reveals England rejected Wales and Chelsea sensation Ethan Ampadu for taking few touches

Ethan Ampadu, Wales and Chelsea midfielder (Image: Twitter)

Bengaluru, September 12: Wales and Chelsea sensation Ethan Ampadu was snubbed by England in the Under-17 and Under-19 level for taking very few touches with the ball, according to the player's former coach.

Ampadu instead went on to represent Wales after playing for England Under-16s in 2015. The Chelsea midfielder made his senior team debut for Wales this week and has already impressed everyone with his style of play.

The soon-to-be 18-year-old was handed a debut by former Blues boss Antonio Conte last season and the midfielder is now starting showing his calibre with every possible opportunity he gets.

The youngster again caught the eye of the world during the international break where he provided one assist for Wales in their 4-1 win against the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA Nations League. The player is now termed one for the future for Wales and world football but things could have been very different for the player.

According to his former manager Yet Tisdale, who handed Ampadu his debut at the age of 15 for Exeter in 2016, the player was offered to English selectors after he represented England Under-16s in 2015 for senior allegiance but the current Mk Dons manager was then told they had 12 better youngsters than him and wanted players who took more touches on the ball.

"I haven’t seen a 14-year-old as good as Ethan. I actually phoned England to make it known. I spoke to very relevant people and said you’ve got to get hold of this chap. He’s such a good player," Tisdale told BBC 5Live.

" a player’s player. I did phone England when he was 14. I said 'I've just seen this chap play, he's 14, he just played in Exeter U18s, he’s four years younger, he's played on a dreadful pitch with awful conditions and he's played centre forward, centre midfield, sweeper all in the space of one game. He looks like Ruud Gullit and this chap you need to get for England.'

"I was told they had 12 players better, they were aware of Ethan and I said well 'this chap just thinks correctly, he acts correctly, he makes good decisions' and I was told that he takes too few touches.

"They were looking for players who wanted to take more touches, which is actually his strength. He does things in one touch, two touch, he sees it early."

But despite Tisdale's ardent recommendation, Ampadu was overlooked by England and instead he went on to represent Wales Under-17s and Under-19s before a rapid rise to the senior side. And the English manager believes the selectors might have ignored his approach by the fact Ampadu was in League Two football with Exeter at that time.

“I think there’s always been a hesitation to listen to someone talking about a player from League Two, but this is not a league thing, this is not about league level. A player’s a player,” he concluded.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 14:31 [IST]
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