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Who's Ethan Ampadu?

The young Welsh defender is the future of Chelsea and among the icons of the new generation of British football

Who's Ethan Ampadu? The young Welsh defender is the future of Chelsea and among the icons of the new generation of British football

Thanks to the penalties' win over Eintracht Frankfurt, Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea qualified for the Europa League final, in a International cups' season never like this time under the influence of the Premier League. Liverpool and Tottenham will be contending for the Champions League, while the London derby between the Blues and Arsenal will decide the second European club competition.

The former Napoli coach is the first Italian coach to reach the final of the tournament since it was reformulated to the detriment of the old UEFA Cup. During this season Sarri himself, to export the brilliant way of playing his teams in the United Kingdom, called the sarriball by the British press, has immediately been able to rely on a generation of very talented and tactile millennials. Ethan Ampadu is one of them.

His great technical skills have impressed the Tuscan coach so much that he also used it in the middle position as well as at the center of the defense, thus making it very easy for the former academy player to approach David Luiz. Moreover, thanks also to a considerable tactical ability, in defensive shifts it was often preferred to one of the blues senators, Gary Cahill. Of Ghanaian father (former professional footballer), but born in England in 2000 and naturalized Welsh, Ampadu is certainly one of the faces of the new British football, multicultural and technically superb.

His football maturation culminated during the 2017/2018 Youth League, an event in which he showed off reaching the final lost against his Barcelona peers. Along with him, there were also other talented protagonists: the teammate Hudson-Odoi but also the lesser known Ugbo, Guehi and Dujon Sterling, who are rarely seen in the first team. The promising debut in the league, which took place in 2017 during the Conte era, was worth to the defender the call-up in the major National team, not the English one though. Having in fact been dismissed by the youths of the Three Lions for the way of playing deemed too risky, he preferred to offer himself to Wales, relying on the origins of his maternal family.


The visibility that the promising centre-back has begun to receive in recent months is also due to its characteristic dreadlocks, which make it one of the most striking media players in the Premier League. He was in fact one of the Blues selected to present to the press the Chelsea kit for next season, which is a tribute to Stamford Bridge. It's the custom of International football that the men chosen to wear the new uniforms are those on which the clubs aim so much both commercially and technically; this seems to be the case of Ampadu, of which Londoners are unlikely to deprive themselves except to send in loan him.

The technical skills of the young Welsh player are in fact very well combined with the tendency of many Premier League clubs in recent years, and largely favored by the arrival in the league of revolutionary managers such as Guardiola, Klopp and Sa rri himself, to express a football philosophy different from the typically "British" one, based on long throws and on a physicality in some cases exasperated. One of the demonstrations of this systematic turning point is precisely the English National team style of play, capable of attracting to itself the sympathies of many observers during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, distinguishing itself in the rapidity of the passages and in the offensive creativity. Among the factors that have favored this evolution of the way of thinking about football in the United Kingdom there is certainly the 'patient' mentality of the clubs, which allows tactical trials that are hardly tolerated by public opinion and by fans in other European countries, especially if they they are not accompanied by results in the short term.

While the purely technical and sporting aspects are the innovative elements that characterize today's British football, the importance that the fashion industry has been able to carve out is certainly huge: on many occasions the players of English clubs reflect with their own wardrobe the avant-garde of urban fashion, thus proving to finally have interests even outside the pitch. It would also be difficult to expect the opposite from the league that gave birth to David Beckham's media icon. It's important to mention the case of the Spanish full-back Arsenal Hector Bellerin, who became a PUMA testimonial and whose hype style received praise from many thematic magazines, not purely focused on sports. Equally appreciated by the international media is also the more British look of the English coach Gareth Southgate, whose gillet sported during the World Cup in Russia has even inspired an article in the Wall Street Journal. It's no coincidence that Ampadu has recently ended up on the pages of SoccerBible and precisely of the number 12 entitled 'Coming Thru', in the company of other new faces of Anglo-Saxon football like Phil Foden. It's probably also thanks to this creative and politically open climate of multiculturalism that the Premier League enjoys so much visibility, to the detriment of that part of international public opinion that identifies the United Kingdom in the country of sovereignty and Brexit.