Paul Tisdale claims England rejected Ethan Ampadu because he ‘took too few touches.’
The Chelsea and former Exeter City star continues to be one of the most talked about names in football at the moment, especially after another excellent performance during Wales’ thrashing of Ireland in the Nations League last week.
Ampadu, who turns 18 next week, was eligible to represent England until that Nations League match, and his former manager Tisdale said that although he was monitored when he was just 14, England wanted players who took more touches.
He told BBC 5Live Sport: “I did phone England when he was 14. I said ‘I’ve just seen this chap play, he’s 14, he just played for Exeter under-18s, he’s four years younger, he’s played on a dreadful pitch with awful conditions, and he’s played centre forward, sweeper, centre midfield all in the space of one game and he looks like Ruud Gullit, and this chap, you need to get for England.’
“I was told they had 12 players better. They were aware of Ethan, and well I said ‘this chap just, he thinks correctly, he acts correctly, he makes good decisions’ and I was told that he takes too few touches.
“They were looking for players who want to take more touches which is actually his strength. He does things in one touch, two touch, he sees it early.”
Tisdale handed Ampadu his first ever senior appearance at Exeter City when he was just 15.
The Welsh international then left for Chelsea in July 2017, and has gone on to make several first team appearances for club and country.
MK Dons boss Tisdale made the call to England when Ampadu was 14, and thinks the hesitancy about monitoring a League Two player may have also had an impact in the decision to reject him
He added: “I haven’t seen a 14-year-old as good as Ethan, I mean I actually phoned England to make it known.
“I spoke to very relevant people and said ‘you’ve got to get a hold of this chap. He’s such a good player.’
“I think there’s always been a hesitation to listen to someone talking about a player from League Two, but this is not a league thing, this is not about league level. A player’s a player.”