Ethan Ampadu has revealed the simple reason he headed on loan to Venezia this season – to play football.
The Wales international has spent time on loan at RB Leipzig and Sheffield United since joining Chelsea, with the move to Serie A coming on transfer deadline day.
The 20-year-old appeared to be in with a chance of staying with Thomas Tuchel’s squad before a move for Saul Niguez gained some traction, and Ampadu signed a new three-year deal before heading to Italy for 2021/22.
The Exeter youth product is set for another relegation battle but the reputation of the division and the quality it holds was a big draw for the youngster, with Aaron Ramsey even verifying his thoughts.
Speaking after Wales’ 0-0 draw with Estonia, Ampadu said: “I needed to get games, hopefully I can do that. Serie A is a great league, many top players have played there. It’s a fantastic league, very high level, a lot of very good teams and it’s going to be a great challenge. Hopefully I can show what I can do over there.
“As players, we want to play football. Whether that’s keeping a place for Wales or week in, week out playing for club. Either way, we want to play every game that we can.
“Whenever I spoke to him [Ramsey] he said the league’s good. It will be a good test.”
Given the international break, Ampadu is yet to join up with Venezia but the versatile star is happy to play in either midfield or defence.
With a number of Chelsea defenders out of contract at the end of the season, and the Blues midfield depth being questionable before Saul’s arrival, an opportunity could arise on his return.
Ampadu had a message for Tuchel, Rob Page and Venezia boss Paolo Zanetti.
When asked whether he could be playing centre back or defensive midfield this season, he said: “We’ll have to wait and see, won’t we?
“As people are aware, I’ve said before, I’m more than comfortable playing either position so whichever manager I’m under, I’m more than happy to play in either.”