Inside Blue Thu 14 Dec 2017
Ethan Ampadu's Premier League debut against Huddersfield meant he become the first Welshman to represent Chelsea in the competition for nearly 20 years.
The teenager, who turned 17 in September, arrived at Stamford Bridge from Exeter City in the summer and, having impressed Antonio Conte in pre-season, was handed a place in the first-team squad by our Italian manager.
His first senior appearance for the Blues came as a substitute in the League Cup, replacing Cesc Fabregas in the second half of our 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest, but on Tuesday he featured in the Premier League for the first time, replacing Andreas Christensen for the last 10 minutes as we beat Huddersfield 3-1.
With that he achieved several Blues landmarks, becoming our youngest Premier League debutant for over a decade, the first person born in the 21st Century to represent the club in that competition and the first Welshman to play for the club in nearly 20 years, having made his senior debut for the country in November. In fact, he is only the fifth Welsh international ever to play for Chelsea in the Premier League.
The last to do so before Ampadu was Mark Hughes (above), who played his final match for the club in our last Premier League game of the 1997/98 season, a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers on 10 May, before being an unused substitute in our Cup Winners' Cup final victory over Stuttgart in Stockholm three days later, and then departing for Southampton over that summer.
He was our Player of the Year the previous season, having starred on our run to glory in the FA Cup, and also picked up a winner's medal in the League Cup during his final campaign at Stamford Bridge.
Having also claimed silverware with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers, in addition to spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Hughes is arguably the most successful Welsh international to have played for Chelsea, scoring 16 goals in 72 games for his country, as well as hitting the back of the net 39 times in 123 appearances for the Blues.
Hughes is also the only Welsh international to have played for Chelsea in the Premier League who was actually born in Wales, with the other four all eligible for the country through family links.
The remaining three Welshmen were all part of the Chelsea squad in the first-ever Premier League season, 1992/93, meaning two players share the honour of being the first Wales internationals to represent the club in the competition.
Gareth Hall and Vinnie Jones (above) were both in the starting line-up for our first Premier League game, a 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic at Stamford Bridge on 15 August, when Mick Harford scored the opener in the 84th minute, only for us to concede an equaliser almost immediately.
For Jones, it was one of his last games for the Blues, though, as his short Chelsea career came to an end less than a month later, playing for the final time in a 2-1 defeat at Liverpool – a game in which Paul Elliott and Ian Pearce made their last appearances – before returning to former club Wimbledon.
However, the Watford-born midfielder was still two years away from becoming a Welsh international, playing the first of nine games for the country in a 3-0 defeat to Bulgaria in 1994, just three weeks shy of his 30th birthday.
Hall (below), originally from Croydon, also made exactly nine international appearances for Wales, having started his career at Chelsea and spending a decade at Stamford Bridge. He actually made his Blues debut against Jones' Wimbledon in May 1987, just after turning 18, the first of 171 games for the club. During that time he scored five times and won the Full Members Cup in 1990, before moving on to Sunderland in 1996. All nine of his Wales caps came during his time with Chelsea.
The final man on the list is Darren Barnard, whose unusual story began with him born in Germany, growing up in England and playing for Wales, after starting his career in non-league football.
It was Chelsea who took the chance on signing the 18-year-old from Wokingham in 1990, but he found first-team opportunities hard to come by in the top flight, having to wait until April 1992 to be handed his debut by Ian Porterfield, coming off the bench to replace another adopted Welshman, Jones, during a 2-1 home win over West Ham United.
However, he would only make a total of 33 appearances during his five years with Chelsea before moving on to Bristol City, where he won the first of his 24 caps for Wales.