Sports News of Monday, 14 January 2019
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says Ethan Ampadu is not yet at the level to replace Cesc Fabregas as a back up for Jorginho in the heart of the midfield.
The 18-year-old has not had the opportunities to kick on in his Blues career this season, making just two starts and another substitute appearance, while he has also had the same amount of showing for Wales in the UEFA Nations League.
However, Chelsea have sold Cesc Fabregas to Monaco in the past few days and Chelsea boss insisted that he needs a replacement to act as a back-up to Jorginho who Sarri said was ‘in trouble’ during the 2-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday evening.
Several pundits believe that Ampadu, who has played in that role for Wales, could fit in to be a back-up for Jorginho, however Sarri has revealed why Ampadu will not be taking that position right now, with reports that Leandro Paredes or Nicolo Barella could be on their way to Stamford Bridge.
“In the future maybe, but we have to work,” Sarri said. “The player who plays in that position usually touches about 120, 130 balls [per game], and so I think we need a specialist there.
“The bench is not really very short. It’s short only for one position at the moment, because I think [Hudson-Odoi] is improving. In one, two months, he will be at the same level as the other players. I hope the same for [Ethan] Ampadu.
“Of course, playing as a central midfielder in our team is not easy. We need to try and try and try in training, but I think that he is able to do it.
“I don’t want to talk about the market because I don’t know what to answer. As I said before, the club knows very well my opinion. In my opinion, we need two players. I stop.
“If you ask me something else, I’m not sure what to answer. I’m not in charge of the market, so I don’t know.”