Former Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale claims that England rejected the chance to snap up Wales wonderkid Ethan Ampadu because he ‘takes too few touches on the ball’.
Tisdale managed Ampadu when the youngster was coming through the ranks at Exeter City during the 2016-17 season, giving him 13 senior appearances when he was just 15-years-old.
Ampadu is now at Chelsea where he has made seven senior appearances to date and has been turning heads with his performances for the Welsh national team this week.
Tisdale claims that he phoned the England set-up to make them aware of Ampadu, but says they didn’t show much of an interest him.
He told BBC Radio 5 live (via the Mirror): “I haven’t seen a 14-year-old as good as Ethan Ampadu. I actually phoned England to make it known. I spoke to the very relevant people and I said ‘you’ve got to get hold of this chap, he’s such a good player.
“I said: ‘He’s just played for Exeter Under-14’s. He’s 14-years young. He’s just played on a dreadful pitch with awful conditions and he’s played centre-forward, sweeper, central midfield all in the space of one game. This chap, you need to get for England.’
“I was told they had better.
“I was told they had 12 players better and that they were aware of Ethan. I said ‘This chap just…he thinks correctly, he acts correctly, he makes good decisions.’
“I was told that he takes too few touches. They were looking for players who want to take more touches [but it’s] actually his strength. He does things in one touch, two touch. He sees it early.”
Ampadu put in a man-of-the-match performance last week as Wales hammered the Republic of Ireland 4-1 in the Uefa Nations League.
That performance has led to calls for Maurizio Sarri to start blooding the 17-year-old into the Chelsea first team, although the likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all stand in his way at present.
Chelsea’s next game is at home to Cardiff City on Saturday.