Chelsea

Chelsea simply cannot waste their opportunity to make the next John Terry

Over the years at Chelsea, many young players have tried and failed to make it at Stamford Bridge. Often, almost with every passing season, a young player looks good enough to finally make it at the club, before an inevitable loan or injury comes and stops them in their tracks.

Just over the last few years the likes of Lewis Baker, Lucas Piazon and Izzy Brown have suffered this fate, and whilst there is still hope, the reality is that none of them are going to become long-term Chelsea lynchpins like had been their hope a few years ago.

That’s why it’s so important for Chelsea to recognise what they’ve got early on and try their best to take it to the next level. Far too often, the Blues let top players leave the club to soon or don’t give them a chance in the team, and so if a player worthy of a role appears, Chelsea simply must hand it to them.

The poster boy for the Chelsea academy back in the 1990s and 2000s was John Terry. Fast forward to 2018, and that’s still the case. He remains the only player in recent memory that has truly built a legendary legacy after growing him the Chelsea academy, and that’s something that needs to change.

Fortunately, Chelsea do have a young player in their ranks that has the potential to emulate the Stamford Bridge icon – and his name is Ethan Ampadu.

The Welshman has risen to attention over the last few days following his performances for the Welsh national team. Despite not getting much of a chance at Chelsea yet, he’s clearly supported strongly by Ryan Giggs, and he proved that with his dominance against Ireland. Now, it’s time for Chelsea to show the same faith.

Ampadu was signed by Chelsea back in 2017 from Exeter City, and so he hasn’t been at Chelsea for as long as John Terry, but given his youth – he’s just 18-years-old – he has the potential to follow a very similar path to Terry.

Ampadu shares a position with the Chelsea icon in that he’s best utilised as a central defender.  Solid and combative at the back, the Welshman is comfortable making last-ditch tackles and intercepting the ball, and he’s aggressive enough to give opposing attackers nightmares. Like Terry, he’s fantastic with the ball at his feet, with his tremendous range of passing marking him out as a David Luiz-type figure in defence. However, unlike Luiz, mistakes are few and far between from Ampadu, and so he’s a player that can play a number of roles at the back.

The parallel that perhaps draws him most directly with Terry, though, is his leadership. Despite being a teenager, when he made his debut for Chelsea one thing became painfully clear – he’s a natural born leader with bags of charisma. He was quick to bark orders and make demands of his teammates, and that screamed of a player that knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s confident and passionate, and given that Terry was the leader of Chelsea’s dressing room for over a decade, his departure has left a significant gap in that regard; and that’s a gap that Ampadu may be able to fill.

Ampadu is already incredibly versatile, which would offer Chelsea yet another outlet in their quest to make use of him. Best used as a defender, he’s also just as capable through midfield. He’s got the pace and technical ability to really make an impact in that area of the pitch, and in Wales’ game against Ireland, he was the man to win the ball on the half-way line and move it forward to spark a goal. He’s not limited, then, and he’d be able to fit in wherever Chelsea need him.

Many have tried and failed to make it at Stamford Bridge, and often the players themselves are, at least, partly to blame – but if Ampadu isn’t in the team in a few years, the blame will lie solely at Maurizio Sarri’s doorstep.

Chelsea have lacked a player like Terry since he left. They’ve lacked a player as composed as him, they’ve lacked leaders like him, and they’ve lacked young talent that knows the feeling of breaking into the first team. If Ampadu is able to emerge through the cracks at Chelsea, he’d be able to deliver all three of those things. He’s just 18-years-old, but Ampadu plays like a player ten years his senior, and that’s no hyperbole. He doesn’t look out of place for Chelsea, and he doesn’t look out of place for his country, and the Blues must recognise that they have a gem on their hands.

Many have tried and failed to make it at Stamford Bridge, and often the players themselves are, at least, partly to blame – but if Ampadu isn’t in the team in a few years, the blame will lie solely at Maurizio Sarri’s doorstep.

Chelsea fans – thoughts?

Let us know below!

Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
Chelsea simply cannot waste their opportunity to make the next John Terry
To Top