​Wednesday was a good night for Chelsea's defence, and the Blues didn't even play.

While Chelsea were at home preparing for Saturday's meeting with Tottenham Hotspur, Spurs had to spend their time losing 1-0 to RB Leipzig in the Champions League. A major reason for that loss was the dominant performance of Blues loanee Ethan Ampadu.

The Welshman, who you might not have recognised after he cut off his dreadlocks, had to step in for the suspended Dayot Upamecano on Wednesday night, and he barely put a foot wrong. Ampadu was comfortable on the ball, kick-starting Leipzig's attack from the back, while he was defensively on point to keep Spurs' fatigued forwards at bay for the entire game.


The 19-year-old looked at ease in what was the biggest game of his career to date, and that's exactly why he deserves a spot in ​Chelsea's squad next season.

As one of the most exciting youngsters at the club, big things were expected of Ampadu last season. However, then-boss Maurizio Sarri didn't agree and handed him just five appearances all year. Not ideal.

As a result, he was shipped out on loan this year to try and make up for lost time. Leipzig were supposed to offer him a steady stream of minutes, but Wednesday's game was just his seventh appearance in all competitions.

Ethan Ampadu

That makes his performance even more exciting. This was an Ampadu who wasn't at peak match fitness. This was an Ampadu who was likely low on confidence after what looked like another failed season. And yet, he shone.

His performance offered a little bit of everything. Lining up as a centre-back, which is probably his best position, Ampadu did not shirk a physical battle and showed the agility to move around the pitch and disrupt attacks, but it was his work with the ball at his feet which impressed most.

Ampadu touched the ball more than any other player on the pitch, and thanks to his experience as a midfielder, he boasted the creativity to complete pass after pass after pass. 

This was a youngster who wanted responsibility and demanded control of the game, and his talent soon forced his teammates to listen. The pressure was on, but he relished every single second of it.

Cast the spotlight over to Stamford Bridge and you'll see Chelsea's defence struggling. The Blues have looked woeful at times, making foolish errors and giving up unnecessary chances, which is exactly the opposite of what Ampadu accomplished on Wednesday.

In Chelsea's squad, there are doubts over all four of their senior centre-backs. Is Antonio Rüdiger consistent enough? Can Andreas Christensen handle the physicality? Is Fikayo Tomori ready? Is Kurt Zouma actually good at football?

They need a calming influence at the back, and that's what Ampadu brings. Since his days at Exeter City, Ampadu has been marshalling defences full of senior pros. As a 15-year-old, he wanted control.

Age is just a number. If you're ready, you're ready.

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