Ethan Ampadu has today joined RB Leipzig on loan for the 2019/20 season.

It will be the versatile 18-year-old’s first loan since joining from Exeter City two years ago.

He became our eighth youngest debutant of all time when he played a Carabao Cup game that September and the midfielder/central defender has been part of the Chelsea squad ever since. He also became a full Wales international shortly after his Blues debut, but last season was cut short by a back problem which caused him to withdraw from an international call-up and then miss club action from our Europa League win against Malmo in February onwards.

Although Ampadu recovered sufficiently to make the trip to Baku for the final, he was not involved in the match but subsequently played two European Championship qualifiers for Wales last month. Now he has the chance to develop by playing top-level football in the Bundesliga and Champions League this coming campaign. Leipzig finished third in the German top-flight last season behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

In his two years at Chelsea so far he has made 12 appearances, seven of them starts. Last season he featured in three of our Europa League games and in September 2018 he signed a new five-year Chelsea contract.

After Frank Lampard’s arrival in Japan for our continuing pre-season preparations, our new head coach had this to say about loaning out Ampadu:

‘I tried to sign Ethan on loan at Derby last year so I’m a big fan, but with the minutes he played last year, in the interest of Ethan and of Chelsea, the idea he can play a lot of games somewhere could be good for him.

‘I really wanted to work with Ethan this year. That’s a slight disappointment, but it’s to benefit of him. In midfield and defence we have a lot of quality, so each player is a case by case.’