Chelsea borrower Ethan Ampadu sparkled when Leipzig defeated Spurs … and Frank Lampard will certainly be enthusiastic
Ethan Ampadu no longer stands out for his hair, but the talent of Chelsea borrower meant that he sparkled when Leipzig conquered Tottenham … Frank Lampard will certainly label him as another prospect
- Ethan Ampadu made his first Champions League start for RB Leipzig at Spurs
- He took the opportunity and was impressed when they won the match 1-0
- The Chelsea borrower used to have long locks, but had a shorter trim
- It didn’t stop him from standing out on Wednesday for his talent
Ethan Ampadu has never bothered to catch the eye. Trademark dreadlocks, huge and bushy, rolling out of his head like inverted tree roots, have always made the teenager stand out even before a ball is kicked.
It is not so easy for him to attract immediate attention. Gone are the dreads, cut off by a famous hairdresser, replaced by a shorter, tighter, trimmed trim on top.
Maybe he thought it was time for a change. Switch things on, spark something new. Maybe a chance.
Ethan Ampadu shone for RB Leipzig when they defeated Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday evening
The Chelsea beneficiary was impressed after he got a start from manager Julian Nagelsmann
Ampadu recently shaved the long strands that had become its trademark hairstyle
The 19-year-old had not started the entire season with a Bundesliga game for RB Leipzig. He started more in all competitions for Wales than his club. That was not the intention when he lent himself to Chelsea on the German side in the summer.
You can hardly blame the manager of Leipzig, Julian Nagelsmann. His side is second in the Bundesliga, one point behind Bayern Munich. He has the will of Dayot Upamecano in front of him.
According to all accounts, Ampadu has made an impression behind the scenes, only struggling for opportunities. In a 30-minute cameo against Werder Bremen, he won five tackles and all his duels in the air and on the ground. And with injuries that piled up and Upamecano was suspended, Ampadu got his starting chance.
Back in London, from all places. Against Tottenham, the rivals of his parent club, of all opponents. In the Champions League, from all competitions.
Ampadu (left) is celebrating with his Leipzig teammates after their victory in North London
A huge opportunity not only in the heart of Leipzig’s defense in their very first ever knock-out Champions League game, but also for his career at Chelsea. Frank Lampard certainly looked seriously at yet another young player that he would have available in the future.
And if he were, he would have liked to see what he saw. Ampadu started in the middle of a back three and was deep in all outfield players in Leipzig. He was composed on the ball and showed the attributes that also thrive in the defensive midfield.
No one on the field touched more, nobody played more passes – almost 100 of them with a completion rate of nearly 95 percent. Most short and tidy, others in midfield. The odd ride ahead with the ball at his feet.
Ampadu is said to be a popular member of the Leipzig dressing room and has begun to learn German. Perhaps that is why the youngster sometimes looked like the old pro with his constant applause, jockey, and back slapping of teammates when he felt they needed it.
The defender wins the ball back from Lucas Moura, assisted by teammate Angelino
It was the ball that bore the most rust. He made a hash of a long, hopeful clearance by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, which made it bounce under pressure from Lucas Moura, and was spared only by the lack of control of the Spurs forward and smart coverage by Marcel Halstenberg.
Not that Ampadu, or the rest of his teammates in Leipzig, were tested too much. The German side dominated the ball, the game and the chances against a turgid, tepid Mourinho outfit.
Ampadu remained focused and, when it mattered later, stepped out of the defense twice to eradicate any last danger of danger, while Leipzig secured the win, a clean slate and the advantage for a place in the quarterfinals. What is it like to stand out?
The 19-year-old waits for Steven Bergwijn while he wants to win the ball back from the winger
Frank Lampard will certainly consider Ampadu as a different player to involve in the future