CHELSEA boss Maurizio Sarri has been told to consider picking Ethan Ampadu for the first team after his display for Wales against the Republic of Ireland.
The 17-year-old made his first international start for Ryan Giggs’ side from central midfield.
That was despite having not appeared for Chelsea since February and having played just 10 minutes of Premier League action for the Blues in total since joining from Exeter City in July 2017.
The highly-rated teenager – who can also play in defence – is viewed as one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents in the Wales set-up.
And he demonstrated his potential with an accomplished display as The Dragons ran out 4-1 winners in their inaugural UEFA Nations League contest at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Ampadu – who turns 18 next week – directly set up Wales’ third goal, scored by Aaron Ramsey, and was also involved in the build-up for Tom Lawrence’s opener.
But more than that he impressed with a controlling display, his passing and battling in individual duels catching the eye.
And ex-Ireland defender Phil Babb, who played for Liverpool, believes Ampadu deserves to get a look-in at Stamford Bridge.
“He’s got composure beyond his years. The world is his oyster,” the 47-year-old claimed on Sky Sports’ coverage of Wales’ win.
“I think Maurizio Sarri has to look at him and say ‘wow – what a player I’ve got here’.
“He could have been playing in slippers, he was that good. He was like a Rolls-Royce in midfield.
“He has so much awareness when picking the ball and where to go.
“When the full-backs went forward, he dropped back into the defence and doesn’t make rash decisions when in critical areas of the pitch.
“He’s got the build, the physique. Where is he going to play? I’d say if he’s that good in possession he’ll stroll it in midfield.
“It was a big call to leave Joe Ledley out but it shows the confidence Ryan Giggs has in him.”
Ampadu also earned praise from Giggs, who hailed afterwards: “Ethan is a talented player. Even more so than that, as a person, he’s so balanced and mature for such a young player. He’ll be a magnificent player.”
Ampadu featured regularly in pre-season but has yet to make the squad for any of Sarri’s matches as manager so far.
Chelsea have won all of their first four games to start the season and return to action after the international break against Cardiff City.