England turned down Ethan Ampadu for ‘taking too few touches’

Rex Christensen
September 14, 2018

Ampadu looks certain to be part of the Wales set-up for years to come - and England will surely rue their missed opportunity.

Paul Tisdale, who coached Ampadu at Exeter City, has revealed the ridiculous reason England didn't try to make sure he tied his future to the Three Lions.

The FA decided against taking Tisdale's advice on board, however, claiming that they were aware of Ampadu already but that they felt he took "too many touches" in matches.

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 terrible pitch with bad conditions and he's played centre forward, centre midfield, sweeper all in the space of one game.

"I was told they had better".

Ampadu, who recently opted to play for Wales after making his competitive debut in a UEFA Nations League win against the Republic of Ireland, was given his first senior start by Tisdale when he managed the Grecians in 2016, and was impressed by the then 15-year-old.

'[He's] a player's player. I actually phoned England to make it known. He's 14-years young. He's just played on a terrible pitch with very bad conditions and he's played centre-forward, sweeper, central midfield all in the space of one game.

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Ampadu has yet to feature in the Premier League under new manager Sarri this season but he played for Wales against both the Republic of Ireland and Denmark during the worldwide break, and earned lots of praise for his solid performances.

"I phoned England, very relevant people, to say you have to get hold of this chap", "I haven't seen a 14-year-old as good as Ethan, but I was told he takes too few touches".

Despite being born in Exeter, Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu has committed himself to playing for Wales. He does things in one touch, two touch. Gareth Southgate might be a little annoyed to find out that the defender could have been pulling on an England shirt instead.

So England were looking for young footballers who were slower in possession?

The Chelsea teenager was eligible to represent several worldwide teams; with England, Wales, Ireland and Ghana all options for Ampadu.

The topic of worldwide allegiance is prevalent at the moment with West Ham's Declan Rice taking time out to decide whether to represent Ireland or England internationally.

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