According to a report in the Express, Chelsea may recall Ethan Ampadu from his loan spell at RB Leipzig – speculation which may be of interest to Derby County.
Ampadu joined Leibzig on a season-long loan deal. The Guardian claimed the Bundesliga side fended off plenty of interest from English clubs to sign him.
Derby are named in the report as a suitor before the summer. However, manager Frank Lampard’s move to Chelsea from the Rams seemingly ended that speculation.
Ampadu is extremely highly rated. Yet, he has yet to make a single league appearance for Leipzig and Chelsea are reportedly contemplating calling him back.
Here are three reasons why Derby could be a potential option:
Lampard left Derby to join Chelsea in the summer. He spent just one season in charge of the Pride Park club, leading the Rams to the playoff final.
The former England midfielder had a superb relationship with owner Mel Morris. And Lampard will know how Derby have the foundations to help younger talent grow.
Derby’s success with loan players:
Derby have a good record of aiding the development of young players.
Fikayo Tomori won the club’s player of the year award last season. Mason Mount is now a Chelsea and England first teamer while Harry Wilson is playing at Bournemouth.
All three arrived at Derby with plenty to prove last season. And the Rams gave them the platform to grow where they are now playing regular Premier League football.
Derby are short on defensive and midfield options:
Ethan Ampadu can play at both centre-back and as a holding midfielder.
The 18-year-old has bags of talent, but he needs regular football. Derby can offer him that, with manager Phillip Cocu short on numbers in both defence and midfield.
Richard Keogh’s long-term injury leaves Derby with Matthew Clarke and Curtis Davies as the only two natural centre-backs. Krystian Bielik can play there, but he’s far better in midfield and he is needed there with Tom Huddlestone and George Evans also out injured.
Derby have had some rotten luck with injuries this season. Ampadu, should he become available, would certainly help solve a problem in two different positions.