Former Exeter boss Paul Tisdale claimed England turned down the chance to look at Chelsea wonderkid Ethan Ampadu before he opted to represent Wales
Ampadu made his fourth appearance for Wales in a 2-0 loss to Denmark on Sunday, having earned a first cap for his mother’s country of birth aged just 16 in 2017.
Yet Tisdale, who gave Ampadu his Exeter debut at 15 in 2016, was given short shrift by England youth coaches when he alerted them to the defender’s potential.
‘I haven’t seen a 14-year-old as good as Ethan. I actually phoned England to make it known. I spoke to very relevant people and said you’ve got to get hold of this chap. He’s such a good player,’ Tisdale told BBC 5Live.
‘[He’s] a player’s player. I did phone England when he was 14. I said “I’ve just seen this chap play, he’s 14, he just played in Exeter U18s, he’s four years younger, he’s played on a dreadful pitch with awful conditions and he’s played centre forward, centre midfield, sweeper all in the space of one game. He looks like Ruud Gullit and this chap you need to get for England”.
Despite Tisdale’s glowing recommendation, Ampadu was overlooked by England, despite picking up one cap for the Under-16s team. He instead went on to represent Wales Under-17s and Under-19s beofre a rapid elevation to the senior side.
Tisdale continued: ‘They were looking for players who wanted to take more touches, which is actually his strength. He does things in one touch, two touch, he sees it early.’