Chelsea are famous for the number of young players they buy and loan to other clubs. At current count, the Blues have 40 contracted players loaned out to other clubs. Most will never make the grade at Stamford Bridge and head to pastures new to etch out careers elsewhere.
Prime examples of talented youngsters out on loan from the club are Tammy Abraham, Kenedy and an even big money signing Tiemoue Bakayoko. Obviously, these players are out on loan to develop or put themselves in the shop window for moves elsewhere.
With so many youngsters out on loan, if a player stays in the first-team squad at Chelsea, it means he is highly regarded. One such youngster is versatile Welsh teen Ethan Ampadu, who is rated as one of the biggest young prospects in the British game.
Career development so far
It seems quite clear that Ampadu is a special young player. The central defender/midfielder was not even 16 when he made his senior debut for Exeter City, becoming their youngest ever player in the process.
He made just eight league appearances for his hometown team before making a high profile move to Premier League Chelsea in 2017. The move has seen the youngster featured in the EFL Cup and make one Premier League appearance for the Blues.
However, the biggest development of his career is the fact that he has played for Wales on three occasions. On Thursday night, the 17-year-old stole the show, as the Dragons hammered Republic of Ireland 4-1 in the Nations League.
Ampadu, who turns 18 next week, produced the sort of central midfield display that belied his years. For a player of such tender years to dominate in an international match is rare.
Vowed to impress club boss Sarri
The youngster has recently vowed to attempt to impress Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri and break into the Blues first-team this season. He is still at Chelsea, so the youngster must have something about him.
The competition for places is tough at Stamford Bridge. However, the youngster does not seem short of confidence and also seems to have the right attitude when it comes to developing his game. The versatile youngster does come off as a player who believes he has already made it because he is at Chelsea, or played international football. If he can keep his feet on the ground, he has every chance of making it at the top level.
Another chance to impress against Denmark
Wales face a trip to Denmark in the Nations League on Sunday, a game the Dragons are underdogs to win. The game will be a major test for the visitors. The Danes will be at full strength following the settlement of a disagreement over players rights saw an unknown team represent the Scandinavian nation in their last outing against Slovakia.
The game is another chance for the quickly improving Ampadu to impress on the big stage. I hope that for the player, his career goes from strength to strength and he fulfils his potential.
However, that will depend on the amount of first-team football he plays in the next few years. The early signs are that he could be one of those rare youngsters who actually make it at Chelsea.
Will Ethan Ampadu become a star at Chelsea?