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Chelsea have completed a masterstroke by tying down this midfield powerhouse to a new contract

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Ethan Ampadu

Why Chelsea have well by offering Ethan Ampadu a new contract

Chelsea, under Maurizio Sarri, have made a flying start to the new season. But the Italian manager is already planning for the future. As per BBC, Ethan Ampadu has signed a five-year contract extension with the club.

The Blues don’t have a glorious record of promoting youth to the first-team squad. The arrival of Roman Abramovich and his millions in the early 2000s hasn’t helped the cause either. In fact, the last first-team regular to come through the youth system was John Terry. But now Ampadu might well change that infamous record for Chelsea.

Ethan Ampadu is an 18-year-old midfielder, who came through Exeter City’s youth system and made his senior debut against Brentford at the age of 15. Towards the end of the 2016/17 season, the youngster was snapped up by Chelsea and he soon made his debut in the EFL Cup against Nottingham Forest. But since then, he has started only 7 matches for Chelsea and none of those came in the Premier League.

The arrivals of Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho has pushed the youngster further down the pecking order. But impressed by his performances for the U23s, Ryan Giggs handed Ampadu his debut for Wales in a recent friendly against the Republic of Ireland.

It was a chance that Ampadu was waiting for and he grasped the opportunity with both hands. The Chelsea youngster thrived in a three-man midfield alongside Aaron Ramsay and Joe Allen. For the third goal, Ampadu won possession with a sharp tackle and then carried the ball close to the 18-yard box, before releasing an exquisite through ball for Ramsay to finish.

Ampadu’s ability to stamp his authority only emphasizes his maturity. Neat and tidy on the ball, Ampadu has demonstrated his discipline, despite being surrounded by world-class players.

The youngster hasn’t received any playing minutes this season but by extending his contract, Sarri has shown his faith. The Europa League and the EFL cup are starting soon, providing the perfect chance for Ampadu to display his class in a Chelsea jersey. Doing so should allow him to adapt to the physical side of the game and possibly integrate himself into the first-team squad for the Premier League as well.

Read More: Opinion – Chelsea must sign this £20million Premier League sensation to replace £120,000-a-week flop

Ampadu is a talented youngster with ample potential and despite his contract extension, he needs constant playing minutes for his growth. Chelsea have done the first part correctly by handing him a long-term deal but now, it is the manager’s job to oversee his growth in the years to come.

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Chelsea

Signing this 22-year-old England superstar in January could be a shrewd move by Everton

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Everton should make a move for Ruben Loftus-Cheek in January

According to the Daily Star, Chelsea’s out-of-favour youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been tipped with a move away from the Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis.

Both Chelsea and Everton witnessed changes in the managerial position this summer. While the Blues have done exceptionally well in the Premier League and enjoy an unbeaten record so far, the Toffees have endured a mixed start with three wins from their first eight games.

Maurizio Sarri brought in Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in the summer to bolster his options in the midfield and the Italian boss has favoured a 4-3-3 formation.

N’Golo Kante and Jorginho have established themselves as regular starters in Sarri’s eleven as a part of the midfield three, which has left the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Cesc Fabregas, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley to battle for the remaining one spot. The manager has opted to go in with Kovacic on most occasions but has given Barkley an occasional look-in for a few games.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has found it difficult to break into the first-team picture and has played only 33 minutes in the Premier League this season. The 22-year-old did start against Vidi in the Europa League but was subbed for Barkley after an hour.

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As a matter of surprise, Maurizio Sarri bashed the youngster for being tactically incompetent in the midfield. He stressed that Loftus-Cheek is very good technically and physically but needs to improve tactically to get into the team. (h/t Daily Star)

Loftus-Cheek spent time on loan last season at Crystal Palace and helped the Eagles to an 11th place finish in the Premier League. He scored 2 goals and registered 3 assists in 24 league appearances for Roy Hodgson’s side and his impressive displays earned him a spot in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia.

Everton has been linked with a move for free-agent Samir Nasri when his doping ban expires next month, claims the Daily Mail. Marco Silva is looking to add cover and competition for the likes of Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nasri is being considered as a possible option. (h/t Daily Mail)

Undoubtedly, Nasri has an enviable record in the Premier League and has won the competition twice with Manchester City back in his glory days. However, it might not be the wisest of moves to sign him at this stage of his career given that he is already 31 and has been out of action for almost ten months.

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As things stand, Everton should look to lure Loftus-Cheek to Goodison Park by offering him a lucrative contract. A versatile midfielder who can fit into any position in the midfield, the 22-year-old will be the perfect back-up for Gylfi Sigurdsson.

While he has the game reading ability and the physicality of a central midfielder and can break the play with crucial interceptions, he also has the vision, creativity and firepower of a central attacking midfielder and is capable of playing on either side of the pitch. Loftus-Cheek likes to drop back and win the back and then surges forward with pace to craft attacking moves. He has an excellent technique and can find the net from distance with powerful long-range efforts.

Read More:- Enough is enough – Everton must loan out this £27million flop in January

Everton need more depth in their squad, especially in the midfield, if they are to stamp their authority over their rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watford, Bournemouth, Leicester City and Arsenal. To be honest, signing Lotus-Cheek will boost their chances of making it to Europe next year.   

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Who is this 18-year-old sensation on Chelsea’s radar? The next big thing in the Premier League?

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Sandro Tonali – All you need to know about this Chelsea target

According to The Sun, Chelsea are prepared to splash £20million to beat the likes of Juventus, AC Milan and Roma to sign 18-year-old midfielder Sandro Tonali.

Tonali currently plies his trade in the Serie B with Brescia and has already provided 3 assists in seven games. Maurizio Sarri has been a long-term admirer of Tonali and wanted him at Napoli but it looks like Chelsea are ready to dish out the amount. (h/t The Sun)

The 18-year-old teenage sensation has been a regular for Italy at the U19 level. As the big clubs come sniffing around to snap up the youngster, let us get a deeper insight into one of the most promising young talents in Italian football – Brescia’s Sandro Tonali.

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Background

Born in Italy, Tonali played for Piacenza at youth levels before moving on to Brescia’s academy, where he finally settled down. He made his professional debut in the Serie B for his boyhood club in August 2017, aged 17, and made a total of 19 appearances in his first season as a professional.

He has established himself as a regular starter this season.

Style of Play

Primarily a central defensive midfielder, Tonali can also play as a central midfielder in a more advanced role. However, he is at his best when deployed in a deep position from where he operates as a deep-lying playmaker.

Blessed with an excellent technique and quick reflexes, Tonali combines both his attributes to cut out the attacks with crucial interceptions from a deep position in the midfield. He is not the most physical player on the pitch but tends to make up for it with his superior technique which not only allows him to run comfortably with the ball at his feet but also lets him shield the ball well. Furthermore, he is also a good dribbler.

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He has the ability to create that extra yard of space for himself by taking quick turns and uses his remarkable vision to play his teammates into open spaces. He is a good passer of the ball and keeps things ticking in the midfield with his effective ball distribution skills.

His vision, technique and game-reading abilities place him above rest of the players of his age.

Read More:- Who is this powerful Championship midfielder on Arsenal on Tottenham’s radars? All you need to know

What does the future hold?

Tonali has already established himself as a regular for Italy at the U19 levels and if he continues his development in the right path, a call-up to the senior team won’t be far away.

He is unlikely to stay at Brescia for too long with Chelsea, AC Milan, Juventus and Roma all interested in him and it won’t be a surprise to see him plying his trade for an elite club.

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Signing this experienced Premier League veteran could propel West Ham United to the next level

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West Ham should go all out to sign Gary Cahill in January

Chelsea’s out-of-favour centre-back Gary Cahill has emerged as a January transfer target for West Ham United, claims the Mirror. The 32-year-old has less than a year remaining on his current contract which is set to expire next summer and the Blues are unlikely to offer him an extension.

Cahill joined Chelsea in 2012 from Bolton Wanderers and was a part of the team that won the UEFA Champions League in 2011/12 and the UEFA Europa League in 2012/13.

The 32-year-old veteran has also won the FA Cup, League Cup and the Premier League on two occasions over the course of his illustrious career at Stamford Bridge. Cahill has made a total of 285 appearances across all competitions, scoring on 25 occasions.

Although Cahill made 43 appearances across all competitions last season, including 27 in the Premier League, he has been frozen out of the squad by new manager Maurizio Sarri. The Italian boss has preferred deploying David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger in the heart of the defense and has used the Englishman as an understudy.

In fact, Cahill has played only once in the Premier League this season when he came off the bench to replace an injured Rudiger.

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A player of Cahill’s calibre doesn’t deserve to warm the bench at Stamford Bridge, definitely not at the age of 32. In the limited game time he has received, Cahill has looked quite fit and sharp for his age.

West Ham steadied the ship after a disastrous start with victories over Everton and Manchester United. However, the Hammers’ recent run of form was undone by Brighton last weekend as the Seagulls triumphed 1-0 courtesy Glenn Murray’s 25th-minute strike.

The Hammers have managed to keep only one clean sheet this season which came in a goalless draw against Chelsea. In fact, Pellegrini’s men have a poor defensive record in the Premier League, having shipped 13 goals so far with a goal difference of -5.

Pellegrini brought in the likes of Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop to bolster his options at the back and both players have taken time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League. 

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West Ham do not have many options for the centre-back position. Granted, Balbuena and Diop have fared well in recent games but they looked quite shaky against Brighton and put the team at risk with occasional lapses in concentration.

Angelo Ogbonna, the Italian centre-back who played a couple of games at the start of the season, has looked way off the pace and badly out of shape. West Ham do have the services of 19-year-old Reece Oxford but they need an experienced customer who can lead by example.

Read More:- Rating West Ham’s new summer signings – Who gets an 8/10 and who gets a 4/10?

As things stand, Gary Cahill would be the ideal man to provide cover and competition for the likes of Balbuena, Diop and Ogbonna. A centre-back blessed with excellent technique, remarkable aerial prowess and appreciable game-reading ability, Cahill is known for his high levels of composure, concentration and consistency. He also has an enviable goalscoring record for a centre-back.

Hence, a move to London Stadium would be ideal for all parties involved and the Hammers should not hesitate to table a bid for the veteran.

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