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Ethan Ampadu: Sheffield United loan spell has made me a better player

The 20-year-old is with the Blades on a season-long deal from Chelsea.

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Ethan Ampadu has made 27 appearances for Sheffield United since his arrival in September on a season-long loan deal (Tim Keeton/PA)

Ethan Ampadu has made 27 appearances for Sheffield United since his arrival in September on a season-long loan deal (Tim Keeton/PA)

Ethan Ampadu has made 27 appearances for Sheffield United since his arrival in September on a season-long loan deal (Tim Keeton/PA)

Ethan Ampadu has described his season on loan with Sheffield United as the biggest of his career and believes he will return to Chelsea a better player because of the experience.

The 20-year-old Wales international has made 27 appearances for the club in all competitions and made 21 Premier League starts since his arrival in September on a season-long loan deal.

Brought to Bramall Lane as a utility player by then-Blades boss Chris Wilder, he has featured in all three positions along the defensive line as well as in midfield.

Ampadu feels his time in South Yorkshire has been a valuable learning curve and one which will have a big impact on his future.

“It’s been a huge season for me, the biggest I have had as a footballer,” said Ampadu.

“I will take everything away from it that I can. Whether that’s learning and adapting to the Premier League, watching games back on myself and seeing what I can improve on, which I do regularly anyway, off the pitch stuff, mentally, how to look after myself.

“How to be a professional footballer in the Premier League is what I will take away from this spell.

“I have come on a lot tactically. You come up against a lot of different systems in the Premier League but also individual players. I have been fortunate enough to play against top class players and having to deal with them.

“The nature of being chucked in and playing more games you improve. Being realistic, I had not had a lot of football – my goal was always to try and play this amount of games and more, but comparing to other seasons it’s been the big difference.

“You train every day to improve and learning from watching yourself and watching other players, but really, the only way you do get the experience is by being chucked in, and that’s what I have had this season and I have had to learn from it.”

Ampadu’s loan was sanctioned by then-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, who has since been replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

The change in manager at Chelsea has raised questions about his future at Stamford Bridge but Ampadu has yet to speak with the German, instead directing all his focus on the Blades’ remaining eight Premier League games.

“My thoughts right now is just seeing how the season goes here. For now we have a big eight games left. My mind is just on that,” said Ampadu.

“I haven’t really spoken to him (Tuchel). I have spoken to Chelsea a little bit here and there just to see how the season’s going, nothing for in the future. They have their season to finish off and we have ours.

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“Those sorts of questions will be answered at the end of the season, but for now we have a lot going on and I haven’t been thinking about next season too much.”

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