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Chelsea teenage sensation Ethan Ampadu helps Wales go past Bulgaria

Wales pocketed a 1-0 win over Bulgaria courtesy a late header from substitute Neco Williams. The Liverpool right-back scored off a cross from Jonny Williams in the 94th minute.

Meanwhile, Chelsea starlet Ethan Ampadu completed 90 minutes- a feat he managed to achieve in the previous tie against Finland as well. Although Ampadu had a quiet match in Cardiff as the Bulgarian side offered little going forward, he did occasionally step out in midfield carrying the ball before spraying a pass.

The 19-year-old is a ball playing center-back who has been an integral part of Wales Coach Ryan Giggs’ system. Earlier he was deployed in a defensive midfield role but now can be seen partnering Luton Town defender Tom Lockyer in central defense.

Ampadu is up to the challenge as he kept two clean sheets for Wales in as many matches. Last week, he had an impressive outing against Finland, keeping Teemu Pukki and company at bay in an away encounter.

At the club level, however, the player has struggled to gain game time. Despite joining Chelsea from Exeter City in 2017, Ampadu has only made 12 appearances for the club.

Last season he was sent out on loan to Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig but only managed 7 appearances in all competitions. This was because of persistent injury problems and when fit, he was unable to break into a settled unit.

However, Giggs has expressed his wish for Ampadu to take a call on his Chelsea future. Giggs claimed that although the addition of Thiago Silva will aid in the youngster’s development, there is no substitute for game time.

“I want all the players to be playing regularly, but that sometimes isn’t the case. It’s that balance over whether they’re at a top club and surrounded by top players and improving every day, but ultimately you need minutes on the pitch. That’s a decision for Ethan. I’ve talked to him a lot about that.”

Giggs told the press before the Bulgaria game

Whether Ampadu stays and fights for his place at Chelsea or decides to choose another club in pursuit of regular game time remains to be seen but the Wales manager has made his stand clear on the player.

Wales will be facing a formidable England next month in a friendly. Their next assignment will surely test the defense and Ampadu will be expected to be at his best if Wales wishes to beat the Three Lions.


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